About Mental Health Recovery & WRAP®

I am so glad you put this recovery program out. WRAP has done me the world of wonders. Through this program, I'm learning more about myself. I'm also learning to better organize my life to where it's more manageable. I am now on the road to a full recovery thanks to your program. I'm able to stand up for my rights in a more positive and effective manner.

--WRAP Participant

Mary Ellen Copeland began her studies of how people help themselves, get well, and stay well in 1989.  Her work received an important boost from the 1992 publication of the best-selling Depression Workbook. The Workbook, now a keystone in mental health circles, was the result of interviews with hundreds of people and years of research. Mary Ellen has continued these studies and now works with a highly competent and skilled staff and experts from around the country. Her books, CDs, DVDs, and online courses have been widely used and distributed all over the world.

Expected Long Term Outcomes

WRAP shifts the focus in mental health care from 'symptom control' to prevention and recovery. The result is significant reduction in the need for costly mental health and emergency services as people who experience mental health challenges effectively takeAbout Image 1 responsibility for their own wellness by using a variety of self-help techniques and reach out for and use the support of a network of family members, friends, and health care providers. The result is significant life enhancement, gains in self-esteem, and self-confidence as people become contributing members of the community.

Mental Health Recovery Seminars

Intensive five-day seminars teach people how to facilitate Mental Health Recovery and WRAP groups. Trainings are held in Brattleboro, VT, around the country, and around the world by The Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery.

Key Recovery Concepts

Five key recovery concepts provide the foundation of effective recovery work.

Hope - People who experience mental health difficulties get well, stay well and go on to meet their life dreams and goals.

Personal Responsibility - It's up to you, with the assistance of others, to take action About Image 3and do what needs to be done to keep yourself well.

Education - Learning all you can about what you are experiencing so you can make good decisions about all aspects of you life.

Self Advocacy - Effectively reaching out to others so that you can get what it is that you need, want and deserve to support your wellness and recovery.

Support - While working toward your wellness is up to you, receiving support from others, and giving support to others will help you feel better and enhance the quality of your life.

Wellness Recovery Action Plan®

Through careful observation you will discover the things you need to do every day to keep yourself well, external events that may make you feel badly, early warning signs that let you know you are not feeling well, and signs that let you know you are feeling much worse. With this knowledge and by using the Wellness Tools you have discovered for yourself you will be able to develop a Wellness Recovery Action Plan that will help you feel well more often and move forward with your recovery. This will include listings of:About Image 4

  • those things you need to do every day to keep yourself well, such as eating three healthy meals and getting a half-hour of exercise
  • activities that might keep an event from making you feel worse- things that work for you like getting out and going for a walk or doing affirmations.  [examples of Wellness Tools ]
  • external events that could make you feel worse, such as an argument with a friend or getting a big bill
  • early warning signs such as irritability or anxiety that indicate you might be starting to feel badly, and a response plan
  • signs that indicate the situation is getting much worse, such as reckless behavior or isolation, and an action plan to stabilize the situation.

You can also develop a personal Crisis Plan to be used when you need others to take over responsibility for your care. Part of your Crisis Plan includes:

  • a list of your supporters, their roles in your life, and their phone numbers
  • a list of all medications you are using and information on why they are being used
  • signs that let your supporters know they need to make decisions for you and take over responsibility for your care
  • instructions that tell your supporters what you want them to do.

The Post Crisis Plan is developed to let others know when you are no longer in crisis.

WRAP Overview


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A WRAP Workbook for Kids

With the help of two great kids, Hawk and Esther, this delightful book will guide a child through the process of developing their own Wellness Recovery Action Plan. It will help them discover all the things they can do to feel good, stay well, and even feel better when the going is hard.

Developing a WRAP is creative, fun, and life-changing for everyone involved.

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.

© 1995-2015 Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD All Rights Reserved