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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®

April Book Special


Our New WRAP Share Website is Here!

On March 6, 2015, WRAP turned 18! In celebration, many shared their own WRAP journey. The stories are worthwhile, inspiring, and very much appreciated.

Here is a sampling of all the wonderful submissions we received:

WRAP Share Quote

WRAP Share Quote

Visit WRAP4YourLife.com to


The WRAP Story - Origins and Healing

WRAP origin's journeyWhen I think about where WRAP came from, my thoughts go back in time, much further than I thought they would go. TheyWRAP Journey and Origins go back in time to when I was a very little girl, eight years old, lonely and frightened, as a nurse with lots of keys unlocked numerous heavy doors, leading me and my siblings, to the large noisy and scary room where we would have our brief weekly visit with my mother. She had been taken there after she experienced deep and seemingly intractable depression, and after my father had been told that she was incurably insane. 

Our visit was brief and impersonal. It was hard to find the woman we remembered as Ma in the midst of multitudes of agitated people, pacing, crying, screaming and often interrupting any semblance of a conversation we were trying to have with our mother who was herself constantly walking in circles and repeating over and over words we couldn’t understand. I think WRAP began there, in the mind of a small girl who became convinced that what was happening here was wrong and bad, that there was no chance anyone could get well and stay well in this circumstance, where the only treatment was an occasional barbaric electroshock treatment (they were really barbaric in the old days, irrespective of how they are viewed today) and an occasional ceramics class.



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.


WRAP is Born

As a happy birthday present to WRAP, I worked with Em Richards, Jane Winterling and Ed Anthes to develop a video, WRAP Retrospective, that chronicles the development of WRAP. It includes many old pictures and some video footage. I think you will like a lot.  I hope you enjoy it; Please do let me know. Share it with everyone.

Since WRAP was developed in 1997 it has spread all over the world and continues to grow everyday as a tool to enrich and empower lives. Stories have been shared,WRAP is Born friendships formed and communities have been built. People have reclaimed their lives and have become the way they always wanted to be. They are doing the things they had always hoped they would be able to do. Mental health and health care systems are incorporating the Key Concepts, WRAP and WRAP Values and Ethics into everything they do.

Following is an article I wrote in 1997. It continues the story from "Getting Well: the Seeds of WRAP". It describes the process of how the part of WRAP were formed 18 years ago.

Read More


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