Congratulations to Susan (Traverse City), Todd (Cadillac), Nan (Cadillac), Ernie (Houghton Lake), and Terri (Houghton Lake/Grayling), who have all completed requirements and are Certified WRAP facilitators. This was not an easy task to complete, so kudos to them for continuing to make the NLCMHA Recovery Movement come alive!
Each person who was recently certified will be doing three individual WRAP plans with folks and then will begin WRAP groups at each NLCMHA location.
WRAP stands for Wellness, Recovery, Action Planning and these individuals will be providing WRAP groups in each of our four offices to benefit adults with mental illness interested in continuing with their recovery journeys.
Mary Ellen Copeland, MS, MA (who authored the WRAP program) stated that WRAP is:
“A system for monitoring, reducing, and eliminating uncomfortable or dangerous physical symptoms and emotional feelings.”
So what exactly is WRAP? The Wellness Recovery Action Plan Program is a structured system for monitoring uncomfortable and distressing symptoms and, through planned responses, reducing, modifying or eliminating those symptoms. It also includes plans for responses from others when your symptoms have made it impossible for you to continue to make decisions, take care of yourself and keep yourself safe.
The system was developed by people who have been dealing with a variety of psychiatric symptoms for many years and are working hard to feel better and get on with their lives. It has been shared with people with other illnesses aside from psychiatric disorders and they feel that it can be easily adapted for use with other disorders. It consists of the following parts (in which one does NOT have to use all parts but could indeed use only some parts that more pertain to their needs).
- Wellness Toolbox is a listing of skills and strategies that you have used or want to use to keep yourself well and to help yourself feel better when you do not feel well.
- Section One is a daily maintenance plan. Part 1 is a description of how you feel when you feel well. Part 2 is a list of everything you need to do every day to maintain your wellness. Part 3 is a list of things you might need to consider doing.
- Section Two deals with triggers. Part 1 identifies those events or situations which, if they occur, might cause uncomfortable symptoms to begin. Part 2 is a plan of what to do if any of these triggers occur.
- Section Three deals with early warning signs. Part 1 involves identification of those subtle signs that may indicate the situation is beginning to worsen. Part 2 is a plan of what to do if any of these early warning signs are noticed.
- Section Four deals with symptoms that occur when the situation has gotten much worse but has not yet reached a crisis, where you can still take action in your own behalf; in other words, when things are breaking down. Part 2 is a plan of what to do if any of these symptoms occur.
- Section Five is a crisis plan. It identifies those symptoms that indicate you can no longer continue to make decisions, take care of yourself and keep yourself safe. It is for use by supporters and health care professionals on your behalf as the person who developed the plan. The planning begins by using your Wellness Toolbox, a listing of skills and strategies that you have used or want to use to keep yourself well and to help yourself feel better when you do not feel well. Part 1 of the crisis plan is information that defines what you are like when you are well. Part 2 identifies those symptoms that indicate others need to take over responsibility for your care. Part 3 names those supporters and identifies their roles. Part 4 identifies those medications which, if necessary, are all right with you, those which are not, and the reasons why. Part 5 gives you the option of developing a home, community care or respite center plan to use, if possible, in lieu of hospitalization. Part 6 identifies the treatment facilities which, if necessary, are all right with you, those which are not, and the reasons why. Part 7 identifies the treatments which, if necessary, are all right with you, those which are not, and the reasons why. Part 8 is an intensive description of what is wanted from supporters – and what is not wanted – when symptoms become this intense. Part 9 gives information for supporters to use in determining when you no longer need to use your crisis plan.
- Section Six, Post Crisis Planning is a more recent addition to the plan. It is different from other sections of your Wellness Recovery Action Plan in that it is constantly changing as you heal. For instance, it is anticipated that two weeks after the crisis you will be feeling much better than you did after one week and therefore, your daily activities would be different. The post crisis form leads you through the process of outlining your own post crisis plan.
Watch for information about WRAP groups starting in each of the NLCMHA offices. We encourage you to get involved if you are ready to continue working on your recovery.