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What is a Wellness Recovery Action Plan® (WRAP®) and how do I use it?

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan®, or WRAP®, is an evidence based practice that is used world-wide by people who are dealing with mental health challenges as well as medical conditions. Diabetes, weight gain, pain management, addictions, smoking, and trauma are just some of the many life challenges that can benefit from WRAP. WRAP can also be used as a framework to guide relationships in peer support, recovery groups, agencies, and organizations.

WRAP is being used in schools, prisons, hospitals, and veterans’ facilities. It is used with people of all ages who want to attain the highest possible level of wellness. It was originally developed by a group of people who lived with mental health difficulties and were searching for ways to resolve their wellness issues. WRAP was their answer, and it can be used by anyone looking to develop a plan to manage a path to wellness.

WRAP involves listing your personal resources, your Wellness Tools, and then using those resources to develop an Action Plan to use in specific situations which you determine. WRAP is adaptable for any situation and can include a Crisis Plan or Advance Directive.

WRAP is for Life! – It is for everyone, anytime, and for any of life's challenges.

 WRAP Overview                              

[video with Mary Ellen Copeland]      Click here to find out more about getting started with WRAP®

WRAP for Life Bundle


Relieving Stress & Anxiety

Today’s society is fast-past and on demand. As a result, the ability to relax is a crucial skill to learn. When used regularly as Wellness Tools, relaxation and stress reduction techniques have the potential to reduce and relieve stress and anxiety, in addition to increasing overall wellness. There are many ways that you can learn relaxation and stress reduction techniques; you could work with a counselor, take a course, read books, listen to a CD or even watch a DVD on this topic to become informed.
Back in the early 1980s, when I first began to work intensively on addressing issues in my life, I worked with a counselor who taught me the importance of learning to relax. Through her valuable instruction, I became aware of the tension I had been holding in my body almost all my life. The more I practiced these techniques, the better I felt. - Mary Ellen Copeland

If you find stress or anxiety to be a recurring issue for yourself, studying relaxation methods could help you feel better. I suggest that you learn how to relax when you are feeling well. It then becomes an easily accessible Wellness Tool that you can use anytime, anywhere. Trying to learn to relax in the midst of a Crisis or a difficult time can be difficult.

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Customize Your WRAP


Beat the Winter Blues with Light

The first snowfall of the year; a cup of hot cocoa after building a snowman; ice skating on a frozen pond - The Winter season, especially if you live in the north, is full of unique experiences waiting to be enjoyed. However, have you noticed that you feel worse in the Fall and Winter months? Do you feel blue after several cloudy days in a row? If so, you’re not alone. As the days get shorter, many people experience some of the following signs of insufficient light:

  • Lack of energy
  • Desire to sleep a lot
  • Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning
  • Impatience with yourself and others
  • Cravings for sweets and junk food
  • Difficulty being creative
  • Difficulty concentrating and focusing your attention
  • Decreased productivity

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Get the WRAP Workbook



Highly Recommended WRAP Course

I have taken the course Implementing Mental Health Evidence-Based Practices: The Case of Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) and I recommend it highly to anyone who is implementing, has implemented or is considering implementing a WRAP program or any other evidence-based program, and for Advanced Level WRAP Facilitators who might find themselves advocating for WRAP programs, helping to get the program started and insuring its continuance.  

The course gives detailed instructions for implementation that, if followed, insure success. The beginning of the course is more generic, giving the basics of successful implementation, and toward the end it focuses almost exclusively on WRAP. This course would have been of great value to me over the years in my efforts to disseminate WRAP. It would have helped me avoid missteps, those times when I had to back up and take a different track or change the focus of my efforts. Although WRAP has done very well, as I took the course I thought about different ways we could have done things, and how that might have enhanced and eased the process.

This course is eligible for Continuing Education credit for those who need it. At a cost of $5.00, it is the best bargain around. You can access it at http://www.cmhsrp.uic.edu/health/ebp-wrap-course.asp.


Mary Ellen Copeland and her staff cannot address personal mental health problems and issues. We care very much about your concerns but we must focus our efforts on education and resource development. For more information on how to get help for yourself or the people you are supporting, please use the resources on this website.

© 1995-2014 Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD All Rights Reserved