Maintain mental wellness with a plan that works
What makes you feel depressed or anxious? What helps you to feel better?
What if you had a do-it-yourself action plan that gave you the answers; a plan that helped you cope with change and stay balanced?
The Wellness Recovery Action Plan -WRAP – is such a plan. It helps people monitor their negative feelings and replace them with positive ones. It works for those living with depression, bipolar disorder and other mental health challenges, but also for anyone who wants to be healthy.
The system is easy to use and empowering. It can be used on your own or with the support of loved ones and health care professionals.
The program was developed by Mary Ellen Copeland, MS, MA, who has bipolar disorder. As she searched for ways to cope with her disorder on a day-to-day basis, she found answers through her own experience and her research of others living with mental health disorders. The result was the system and the books Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) and WRAP Plus.
You can learn the system from the books or by attending a workshop. You’ll begin by developing a Wellness Toolbox.
Here’s a brief overview of part of the program. Following the instructions in the book, you’ll learn how to develop lists to incorporate into your Toolbox, some of which include:
- What healthy activities might I do every day? (Exercise for half an hour, spend time with partner…)
- What events could trigger my symptoms? (Inadequate sleep, spending too much time alone…)
- What things can I do to feel better? (Relaxation exercises, spending time with positive people…)
- What warning signs might indicate the situation is getting worse? (Lack of energy, irritability people…)
- What can I do if it does? (Ask a support person for help, talk to your therapist…)
You can use the book to maintain daily healthy habits, use its strategies when your symptoms worsen, or share with a support person who can help. It also includes tips on developing a support system; exercises for relaxing; and help with diet, exercise and sleep.
“It’s you helping you,” says Carol Bailey Floyd, WRAP’s Director of Programs and a WRAP trainer. “You’re the expert on yourself.”
WRAP works, she says, because it’s all written down for you. Solutions are there when you need them. She says she’s seen people make remarkable progress using the system.
Complete instructions and examples for creating your own WRAP system can be found in the WRAP books. For more information, visit Mental Health Recovery and WRAP.
The organization also offers training for mental health professionals and assistance with setting up a WRAP program in organizations through the Copeland Center.
The new book WRAP Plus teaches you how to develop a WRAP that will work for you, and how to LIVE WRAP on a day-to-day basis. It also includes stories from those who are living WRAP to stay well.