Over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about updates to WRAP materials and content. First, we looked at the big picture. Then we zoomed in on visual changes. This week, let’s talk about the WRAP content and how it’s evolving to keep pace with the WRAP community’s needs.
First, be assured that certain things about WRAP will never change: the key concepts, the values and ethics, the wellness toolbox, and the six sections of WRAP, to name a few. What will change over time is our growing understanding of how to best support people in developing their wellness—what works well and what isn’t as supportive. We’ve received extensive input from the community about what you need from WRAP, and we’re incorporating that valuable knowledge into updates to our books and other products.
- You asked for broader examples to help you develop and maintain your WRAP. Many lists of ideas are woven throughout the WRAP books to spark your thoughts and imagination about what you may want to include in your WRAP. We’ve also incorporated more perspectives to offer even more ideas based on a range of experiences—from both new and seasoned WRAP users from many different walks of life. We always encourage folks to attend a co-facilitated WRAP group in their area when possible, largely because this is where the magic of shared experiences happens. But when that’s not possible, we hope these expanded examples will help you think creatively about your wellness.
- You asked for more trauma-informed language. In some of our older materials, terms such as “symptoms” and “diagnoses” were still hanging around, and many WRAP users found it uncomfortable to come across these words. As we update books, facilitator materials, and other products, we’re getting rid of those terms to make sure the WRAP values and ethics clearly shine through. Many of you have also shared that the term “triggers” is violent and brings up uncomfortable imagery, and we’ve seen that the trauma community has been moving away from that word for many years. To honor this shift, we’re replacing the term “triggers” with “stressors” in our printed materials. As with any part of WRAP, you can always use whatever words and ideas work for you; there’s no wrong way to create your WRAP.
- You asked for more diversity. In stories and examples throughout the WRAP books, we’ve been very purposeful about including ideas, thoughts, and examples from a broader range of people to reflect the richness of the WRAP community—people of all genders, cultures, ages, and identities from the United States and internationally. As much as we tried to include a wide variety of voices, there’s always room for more. We’d love to hear about your experiences and perspectives, and you may see some of them included in future updates, facilitator materials, and articles on this website. Send your ideas to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or share them on our Facebook page.
- You asked for more guidance. Particularly for people who are new to WRAP, it can be overwhelming to “wrap” your head around a new way of thinking about wellness. Along with more and more diverse examples, we’ve added more prompts to help you think through the key concepts of WRAP, your goals, and how to put WRAP into action in your everyday life. We’ve also added more “next steps” at the end of each book to help you make wellness a habit or daily practice—something many people have asked for more support with.
- You asked for content that stayed “evergreen.” Because we’re always learning more about health and wellness, and because technology advances so rapidly, printed materials can quickly become outdated. So, we’ve removed some of the fast-expiring content from our printed books, such as scientific information about sleep and diet, which constantly evolves. Instead, we will always post the most current factual information here on the website. The books now focus on time-tested concepts that won’t make the books feel outdated after a year or two. We want the books to serve you well for a long time in the future.
- You asked for more flexibility. WRAP is for anyone and any need. Many people struggled with how to adapt WRAP to diverse life circumstances and goals because it was designed from a mental health perspective. To meet this need, we kept WRAP the same but adjusted how we guide you through writing prompts and section titles; this makes it easier to fit in what’s important to you. For example, in the crisis plan, many people expressed that medication isn’t part of their plan, but they felt uncomfortable leaving that section blank. We’ve adjusted the headings in the crisis plan and the post-crisis plan so you can adapt them to your needs more smoothly. Also, many people expressed that the binder concept doesn’t work for them, so we now describe more choices and options for creating WRAP in different formats. As I mentioned last week, we’ve also redesigned the books to include much more space for notes and doodles.
Sometimes changes stir up feelings of doubt or discomfort. You may wonder whether this is still the WRAP you know or whether you’re going to like or dislike the changes. Remember that WRAP itself hasn’t changed, and it isn’t going to change. WRAP works, and there is no need to change something that isn’t broken. What we’re doing is making enhancements to make the content more accessible, adaptable, and useful for a wide range of people. As WRAP reaches more and more people, the needs of the WRAP community simply broaden, which is exciting for everyone. The goal is simply to make WRAP even more supportive of our community. This also means the WRAP you’ve come to know and love isn’t going anywhere!
Mary Jaffe is the Publisher for Advocates for Human Potential. She joined the AHP family in October 2017. She has been working in publishing and nonprofit publishing for over 30 years. Reach her at email@example.com with your questions, comments, and ideas!