The Role of Wellness Recovery Action Plans in Recovery


Wellness Recovery Action Plans or “WRAP” were developed by Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD, after years of research and her own personal fight with what was then called manic depression.  She learned coping skills which helped her begin to live a productive life, but not before experiencing hospitalizations and many trials and errors of medications.  Her struggles sound very familiar.  She developed a plan which outlined triggers, symptom monitoring, patient rights issues, and personal supports.


The WRAP is a tool which covers the key concepts of recovery: hope; personal responsibility; education; self-advocacy; and support.  One section of it is called the “Crisis Plan” and is extremely relevant to someone who finds him/herself hospitalized.  Sitting down with a patient and completing this plan puts a diagnosis in perspective.  It covers descriptions of when the patient is feeling well, symptoms that show that he or she may no longer be able to make decisions on his or her own, what person should take over at that time, and what person should NOT take over at that time.


The WRAP also covers patient right issues.  It goes over acceptable medications and unacceptable medications, asking also for reasoning.  The WRAP states treatments that are okay, facilities that are preferred if hospitalization is needed, and what the person needs his or her supporters to do if a hospitalization occurs.  It really covers everything that a person may not be able to communicate when in a crisis situation.


The WRAP is connected to a copyrighted workbook.  There are generic versions available.  If one were to make a basic outline with the issues discussed, that may be enough to help a person develop a plan for the future.


Rebecca Coursey, KPS
Peer Support Specialist

“Recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.”        SAMHSA

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