It is an emerging trend that Action Planning for Prevention and Recovery, often referred to as “public domain WRAP,” is being used by top-down leadership to cut corners, giving short shrift to the peer movement and undermining fidelity to the evidence-based practice of Wellness Recovery Action Plan® (WRAP). Advanced Level WRAP Co-Facilitators are reporting experiencing pressure to compromise the fidelity and integrity of the WRAP program in favor of this alternative, which is not equivalent to the rigorously designed and tested WRAP program or its supporting materials.
Action Planning for Prevention and Recovery was published by the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2003. However, it was written in 1998 by Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD, the author of the original WRAP books and materials, and was not updated in the time between its creation and its publication. During the intervening years, WRAP continued to grow with the addition of the post-crisis plan and other refinements. Not only was the document out of date by the time it was published, but it was also not updated or maintained after its publication. It is no longer included in the SAMHSA.gov publications library. Copies of the 2003 publication continue to circulate online, but the fact that it is no longer made available by its publisher is a clear indication of its reduced relevance and efficacy.
Although Action Planning for Prevention and Recovery may be a useful historical reference point, it does not represent current best practice. This document has significant omissions of key content in WRAP. It also uses outdated language reflecting the limitations of past perspectives in mental health. Although Action Planning for Prevention and Recovery contains elements and concepts that are similar to WRAP, Dr. Copeland did not intend this document to be used as an equivalent to or substitute for the evidence-based practice (EBP) of WRAP. Action Planning for Prevention and Recovery is incomplete and outdated when compared to WRAP and is not supported by WRAP’s robust evidence base.
WRAP was developed over time through a process of peers working together within a peer-developed core set of values and ethics. Those values and ethics were at the foundation of the fidelity measure used in the study of WRAP, and they continue to guide the enhancements and best practices in delivering WRAP programs. WRAP continues to be updated and expanded in line with its core values and ethics. It is a living practice that continually evolves and incorporates new learning about wellness and recovery while maintaining fidelity to the core EBP model.
A core ethic in the peer support workforce is the ethic of staying within one’s “scope of work,” and two core values in the National Practice Guidelines for Peer Supporters are that peer supporters are “transparent” and “honest and direct.” These ethics mean peer supporters (1) do not provide services they are not trained for; (2) do not willfully misrepresent their expertise or make promises of practices they are not qualified to provide; and (3) do not make false promises or misrepresent themselves, others, or circumstances. This is why the integrity of WRAP as an EBP provided only by people trained and qualified to provide those practices is so important. Action Planning for Prevention and Recovery is not the curriculum used in the EBP of WRAP and not the curriculum WRAP Co-Facilitators are trained to use.
The peer workforce and its allies have fought long and hard for services based on high quality, fidelity, and, above all, measurable recovery results. We have built a network of people in recovery that continues to grow and validate the efficacy of these practices across the globe, supported by evidence that is replicated time and again. Attempts to abandon WRAP or misrepresent it with diluted practices, standards, and materials are a matter of neglectful public policy and practice. People in recovery deserve the best we have to offer. That means we recommend using only the EBP of WRAP, delivered with fidelity to the model that was studied and proven effective.
For additional information about the EBP of WRAP, visit https://www.wellnessrecoveryactionplan.com/what-is-wrap/the-way-wrap-works/.
About Advocates for Human Potential
Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP), is the copyright holder for all WRAP books, materials, and other intellectual property. In 2016, Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD, selected AHP to acquire WRAP, knowing AHP shares the same values and dedication to the EBP. Dr. Copeland continues to serve as a senior consultant and advisor to AHP. AHP manages all WRAP materials, both by updating existing products and developing new ones. The AHP team works hand-in-hand with the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery and others in the WRAP community to meet the current and changing needs of WRAPers around the world and ensure WRAP is delivered only by trained and certified WRAP Co-Facilitators with fidelity to the EBP model.
About the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery
The Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery is a peer-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes personal, organizational, and community wellness and empowerment. It is the only organization in the world licensed to certify Advanced Level WRAP Co-Facilitators. It has trained and certified more than 15,000 WRAP Co-Facilitators worldwide. In 2003, Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD, along with other people in recovery and supportive allies, founded the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery. The Copeland Center continues to support communities around the world; last year reaching more 32,000 people with recovery and wellness education, training, and technical assistance and collaborating with more than 150 organizations.
WRAP and Recovery Books is the division of AHP’s Human Potential Press that publishes books and materials about WRAP, wellness, and recovery.