Wellness Recovery Action Plan®
Wellness Recovery Action Plan® or WRAP is a personalised plan that you develop for yourself and helps you think about getting and staying well.
‘WRAP courses enable you to create a snapshot of yourself at different points on the spectrum of well to unwell. You then formulate what you will need to do at these points using peer support & education from the course to build on & consolidate your existing strategies.’
-Uma, Leeds Recovery College WRAP Co-facilitator
WRAP is used world-wide by people who are dealing with all kinds of health and life challenges and we run regular WRAP courses at the Recovery College, which aim to help you to;
- Discover simple, safe, and effective tools to create and maintain your wellbeing
- Develop a daily plan to stay on track with your life and wellness goals
- Identify what throws you off track and develop a plan to support you
- Have a plan and identify what supports you when things are breaking down or you are in a crisis
Each course is co-led by 2 or more trained facilitators who have their own WRAP plan and use it to support their own mental health and wellbeing.
Through the course they aim to facilitate spaces where information and knowledge is shared, creating a supportive space to enable you to think about what works for you.
The WRAP process supports you to identify the tools that keep you well and create action plans to put them into practice in your everyday life. Along the way, WRAP helps you to think about what wellness and recovery mean for you, what is important to you and your live and what are your personal values and then incorporate these concepts and tools into your plan and your life.
WRAP does not necessarily replace other treatments, however it is evidence based and has greatly improved the recovery and long term health of many people.
For more detail on the content of the course, please see: WRAP: Course information (Leaflet21)
For information about our 2-Day WRAP for staff, please see: 2-Day WRAP for Leeds health, care and community staff
For more information on WRAP please visit: www.wellnessrecoveryactionplan.com
History of WRAP
WRAP was developed in 1997 by a group of people in Northern Vermont, USA.
The group all had experienced serious mental illness and we’re invited to attend a series of discussion meetings, led by Mary Ellen Copeland, who herself had been struggling with anxiety, depression and extreme mood swings- which had caused social isolation and hospitalisation.
Mary Ellen had begun her own journey after becoming disillusioned with treatment that focused on managing her illness rather than focusing on her return to health. She began to talk to people about the practical ways they managed difficult feelings and experiences and the strategies which they used to support themselves. Mary Ellen identified five key concepts to this recovery; hope, personal responsibility, education, self-advocacy, and support —along with ‘tricks’ for feeling better, which would later be called wellness tools.
From research findings and within the discussion groups a simple system for organising a personal ‘wellness recovery action plan’ was developed.
For more than 20 years, people around the world have used WRAP to support their goals and help transform their lives.
Please click here to read the full WRAP story.
At the Leeds Recovery College we deliver the Wellness Recovery Action Plan® course, in line with WRAP’s original values and ethics. Our lead facilitators are trained and certified by the Copeland Centre for Wellness.
How we deliver WRAP
We ‘facilitate’ WRAP we don’t ‘teach’ it.
WRAP’s not something that can be taught in a traditional sense – ‘this is what you need to do to live well’ doesn’t quite work in a WRAP sense.
In WRAP we aim to facilitate spaces where people can share their knowledge and develop a plan that works for them. Each course is co-led by 2 or more trained facilitators who have their own WRAP plan for their personal wellbeing and through the course we’ll provide information and a supportive space to enable you to think about what works for you.
Mental health affects everyone. For some this may be difficult times that come and go – for others this may involve diagnosis, medication and long-term treatment. Whatever your situation, WRAP is for everyone and focuses on life experiences, strengths, and goals, not diagnoses, illnesses, or deficits. The only criteria for someone to use WRAP, is that they want to.
WRAP courses typically range in size from 8 to 12 participants of up to 12 sessions, lasting between 2.5 and 3 hours per session (including regular breaks).
Each week, learning is shared through facilitated discussion, individual and group exercises – with key WRAP concepts being illustrated by real life examples from the co-facilitators.
To support you in developing your own plan, we provide recap notes, handouts and other resources each week.
The WRAP course is delivered in two half’s, for the first includes;
Building your wellness toolbox: The skills, tools and strategies we use to keep ourselves well and when we don’t feel well, the things that will help us to feel better. Wellness tools give us hope and help us feel connected to ourselves and others around us. Often in difficult times we can forget, over look or feel guilty about these things and in developing your tool box you will explore what works for you.
Developing your daily plan (part 1): In creating your daily plan we’ll consider the things we need to do every day to stay well, and the things we may want to do less often, to maintain wellness. The daily plan is a simple structure for putting wellness tools and other things important to us into action for daily living. This includes thinking about how we look and feel when we’re well, the things that are important to us and what we value.
Planning for stressors and triggers (part 2): These are the events, situations or circumstances that may cause uncomfortable feelings or behaviours and if we don’t respond to them or deal with them in some way, they can make us feel worse. In this part of WRAP, we’ll initially look at what may be a trigger for us and create plans for how we will respond if they occur.
We will then go onto look at:
Identifying early warning signs (part 3): These are subtle signs that indicate something has change, these may be the things we notice about ourselves or our environment that tell us we need to take action in some way to stop our situation from worsening. Whereas stressors and triggers can be things that happen around us, early warning signs are the things that point towards a change in our health, mood or outlook.
Planning for when things are breaking down or getting much worse (part 4): Despite our best efforts things may begin to feel worse and break down. This is an important time when we may be able to take action. In this section, we will explore signs that things are breaking down and begin to build a plan we will follow to help prevent a crisis.
Introduction to crisis planning (part 5): What we define as crisis, will be personal to us and we’ll explore what crisis looks like for our personal situation, who supports us, what help we may want and not want and how we want to be supported by others (including medical professionals). Through WRAP we hope that this helps you stay in control even when things feel out of control by making advance plans for yourself and for your supporters for what you need during this time.
Reviewing your plan and post-crisis planning (part 6): The post –crisis plan can help navigate the period after a crisis so we can gradually return to our daily plan, in the way that makes sense for us. It also helps us to evaluate our WRAP and work out what tools or strategies work for us as we learned about ourselves through the crisis we experienced.
Whatever your goals or challenges, WRAP can help you make a plan that works for you. However you define ‘wellness’ or ‘crisis’ is true to your situation.
Explore the different parts of a WRAP in more detail here.
WRAP Goals and values
WRAP is self-directed and people choose whether to participate and what they want to include in there plan.
WRAP is not a clinical tool, such as a treatment or safety plan. Those tools are useful at appropriate times – and having a WRAP plan can support them, but they are different from WRAP.
WRAP has the following goals;
- To help people learn and begin to implement key concepts for recovery into their day to day lives.
- To support people to identify the activities they use to help themselves feel better when they are experiencing mental health difficulties and organise these into a list of wellness tools (or strategies) that work for them.
- To help people to think more about the personal stressors, and triggers that effect them and to begin to develop plans for when they experience and early warning sign, when things are getting worse or they are in crisis.
Five key concepts are at the core of WRAP and how we deliver WRAP within the recovery college. These are;
- Personal responsibility
- Education (or learning)
For more information on WRAP values please visit: Wellness Recovery Action Plan