by Carol Bailey Floyd
Start your New Year by giving yourself a gift that will keep on giving! Your gift can be to start developing a WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) P.A.L.S. relationship. You may already have a WRAP supporter who would be an excellent candidate. P.A.L.S. are Peers who come together to Advocate, Listen, and Support each other in part by using Dr. Mary Ellen Copeland’s educational materials and the Copeland Center’s workshops, trainings, webinars, and conferences.
“WRAP P.A.L.S. combines the evidenced based practice of the WRAP curriculum with the natural strength and power of peer support and friendship.” — Matthew Federici, Executive Director of the Copeland Center (who also has a WRAP P.A.L.S. supportive relationship).
Over the years, I have developed a wonderful and caring WRAP P.A.L.S. friendship with Jean Rogers, who is also an Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator. Our relationship was really good before WRAP P.A.L.S., and now it is excellent and ever growing in positive directions. WRAP P.A.L.S. combinations might include husbands and wives, other family members, existing WRAP supporters – any two people who have a WRAP and are interested in strengthening their relationship by sincerely advocating, listening, and supporting each other.
P.A.L.S. celebrates friendship. You can even make a WRAP P.A.L.S. agreement to decide what kind of things will help make your relationship work. Some ideas may be include; confidentiality, being familiar with each other’s WRAP, doing Wellness Tools and Action Plans together, practicing unconditional high regard, and being encouraging and supportive with each other.
The Values and Ethics of WRAP are an essential part of the friendship between WRAP P.A.L.S. Some of these concepts include hope, equality, dignity, compassion, mutual respect, and no limits to recovery.
You may find yourself developing a very powerful friendship that will be mutually beneficial and which will strengthen each of your WRAPs on a continual basis.You can do fun Wellness Tools and Actions Plans together, and be kind, loyal and helpful to each other in either good or tough times.
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.