01 August, 2017

What is WRAP®?

Mental Health Recovery has now become the key organising principle underlying mental health services globally. In Ireland, mental health policy emphasises the need to have the Recovery model perspective endorsed at every level of mental health service delivery. Central to Recovery orientated practices is the shift from service led to consumer led initiatives. This emphasises the crucial importance of the person’s own voice and their quality of life as judged by the person who experiences mental health difficulties.

One method of incorporating the Recovery principles into practice is through the use of self-management methods such as the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP®) programme. Central to WRAP® is the belief that individuals with mental health difficulties can recover and it shifts the focus of interventions from health professionals to the service user. In that sense WRAP® fits ideally into the current mental health policy and practice which emphasises service user involvement as the person learns to manage their illness by acknowledging their problems, taking action and making choices.

What is WRAP®?

WRAP® was developed in the United States in 1997, by Mary Ellen Copeland. This is a structured individualised plan for monitoring uncomfortable and distressing symptoms and through planned responses, the person is able to reduce, modify or eliminate those symptoms. The activities involved in developing this plan help the person to focus on their strengths which gives them a strong sense of personal responsibility and empowerment (Copeland, 2002).

Here at St Patrick’s Mental Health Services the WRAP® programme follows the logical structure devised by Mary Ellen Copeland.  The Inpatient Service User Recovery programme is directed at inpatient mental health service users and will commence as soon as you are admitted. It aims to educate each person, by allowing them to self-monitor their mental health using their WRAP® plan and to address factors that may impede or support their Recovery. The main emphasis of the recovery programme is the creation of your own Wellness and Recovery Action Plan (WRAP®).

You may not complete your WRAP® plan as an inpatient but we encourage you to attend our day services programme as an outpatient where WRAP® is delivered as part of the day programme. Ward based WRAP groups are facilitated by trained Nursing staff twice weekly on the Service Users own ward and last approximately 1 hour. Nursing staff also support the development of WRAP plans in 1 to 1 sessions.

For more on WRAP® see this short video by Mary Ellen Copeland.