Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD, developed Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) with a group of people with lived experience who were attending a mental health recovery workshop in 1997. She is the original author of the WRAP Red Book, as well as dozens of other WRAP books and materials. She has dedicated the last 30 years of her life to learning from people who have mental health issues; discovering the simple, safe, non-invasive ways they get well, stay well, and move forward in their lives; and then sharing what she has learned with others through keynote addresses, trainings, and the development of books, curriculums, and other resources. Now that she is retired, and that, as she intended, others are continuing to share what she has learned, she continues to learn from those who have mental health issues and those who support them. She is a frequent contributor to this site.
This book reinforces my observations from when WRAP was first developed back in 1997– WRAP is for everyone. Anyone who wants to develop their own WRAP and use it as their guide to daily living can do it. And now, almost twenty years later, we have thousands of WRAP group facilitators all over the world who can facilitate WRAP groups and adapt WRAP so that it is easily accessible to anyone. In the back of this book is a section that includes many, many ideas for making WRAP groups easily accessible, interesting, fun, and useful.
Nikki, Rachel, Christopher and Sue had been in a WRAP group, had developed their own WRAP plans and were so impressed with the process and its effect on their lives that they were willing and anxious to share their experience. What better way to do that than in a book. Gina Calhoun, Lori Young and I followed their guidance and worked with them to develop this book. We all hope it will be helpful to people who may feel daunted at the prospect of developing a WRAP but feel they would benefit from it.
What makes WRAP, and WRAP for People with Developmental Distinctions unique, is that is gives people “self-agency”. WRAP is not developed “for you” by someone else. You develop it for yourself. Other wellness and mental health programs tell people what to do and expect them to do it. WRAP guides people, anyone, including people with developmental distinctions, through the process of figuring out what they need and want to do for themselves and supports them as they do it. This is a big difference.
I encourage you to review this book, even if you feel it is not appropriate to the work you are doing. I expect you will be pleasantly surprised.