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What is WRAP?

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) is a personalized wellness and recovery system born out of and rooted in the principle of self-determination. WRAP is a wellness and recovery approach that helps people to:

1) decrease and prevent intrusive or troubling feelings and behaviors.
2) increase personal empowerment.
3) improve quality of life.
4) achieve their own life goals and dreams.

Working with a WRAP can help individuals to monitor uncomfortable and distressing feelings and behaviors and, through planned responses, reduce, modify, or eliminate those feelings. A WRAP also includes plans for responses from others when an individual cannot make decisions, take care of him/herself, and/or keep him/herself safe.

The person who experiences symptoms is the one who develops their personal WRAP. The person may choose to have supporters and health care professionals help them create their WRAP, but the individual remains in control of the process. Individuals learn to use WRAP through a peer-led and peer-engaged group process. Formal WRAP groups typically range in size from 10 to 15 participants and are led by two trained co-facilitators who are peers who use WRAP for their own recovery. Information is delivered, and skills are developed through lectures, discussions, and individual and group exercises. Key WRAP concepts and values are illustrated through examples from the lives of the co-Facilitators and participants.

WRAP participants create a personalized recovery system of wellness tools and action plans to achieve a self-directed wellness vision despite life’s daily challenges. Participants are encouraged, and, when possible, assisted to continue meeting after the formal 8 to 12-week period has ended and to support each other in using and continuously revising their WRAP plans. A person’s WRAP is a tool that can be used for a lifetime, and a voluntary WRAP group can be a long-term peer support resource for ensuring that this valuable and personalized recovery system remains sharp and useful for building a healthy and successful life in the community.

The key to ensuring that recipients of behavioral health services receive the full benefit of using WRAP is for the leaders and participants in behavioral health organizations to better understand and incorporate the ethics, values, and practices that Mary Ellen Copeland, the Copeland Center, and the grassroots practitioners of WRAP have established.

In 2010, WRAP was recognized by the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as an evidence-based practice and listed in the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. Researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) released the results of a rigorous study that demonstrated significantly positive behavioral health outcomes for individuals with severe and persistent mental health challenges who participated in peer-led WRAP groups. Research studies on WRAP® from UIC cited that positive outcomes were tied to the fidelity of the WRAP facilitation model designed by Mary Ellen Copeland and developed by the Copeland Center.

Upcoming In-Person Training


Training cost: $50.00 Includes a $25.00 non-refundable deposit.

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