Mary Ellen Copeland’s WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) workshop has become an internationally recognized and evidence-based program to help individuals who experience mental health issues take charge of their own wellness. It is also an evidence-based approach to the management of physical pain.
Durham Mental Health Services (DMHS) has been running WRAP groups at no cost to attendees for several years. Now, two DMHS Peer Support Specialists, Aubrey Andrus and Donelle Latimer, have attended Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator Training and will be training other local facilitators to deliver this free and effective wellness workshop.
The first step will be to offer the facilitator training to the five member organizations of the Central East Consumer Survivor Network (CMHA Durham; CMHA, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge; CMHA Toronto; DMHS; and, Hong Fook Mental Health Association), to expand the Network’s capacity to deliver WRAP workshops.
Having Peer Support Specialists as facilitators – that is, mental health workers who have their own lived experience of mental health problems –is a key component of the WRAP approach. As Aubrey explains, “The WRAP facilitators are participants in the group process who recognize the expertise that every attendee has on their own lives. The learning comes out of this group process, with each attendee taking home his or her own unique and individualized recovery plan.”
Since its inception, WRAP has expanded beyond its initial focus on mental health problems. “It was developed by and for people experiencing mental health problems but it’s not focused on illness, it’s focused on wellness,” says Donelle. “The message it sends is that anyone can get well, stay well for long periods of time and achieve their life goals. Because of this, anyone can take WRAP and benefit from this workshop.”
“By working together to expand the number of facilitators trained to deliver WRAP workshops, DMHS, the Central East Consumer Survivor Network and other health service providers are continuing to support people to achieve an optimal level of mental health and live healthier at home,” said Deborah Hammons, CEO, Central East LHIN. “This continued support is a strategic aim of the LHIN as we deliver on our mission of better health, better care and better value for the residents of the Central East LHIN.”
Aubrey adds that she and Donelle are grateful for the opportunity to share their learnings with their peers.
“We would like to thank our CEO Rob Adams as well as the Central East LHIN for providing the support, because it’s giving us an opportunity to bring this great wellness program back to other LHIN communities, for everyone to share.”
For more information about WRAP, to find out about upcoming WRAP sessions, or to enquire about becoming a WRAP facilitator, please contact Aubrey Andrus (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Donelle Latimer (email@example.com).