WRAP – How to Live well with Mental Illness

WRAP Part 2 – Living well with a mental illness can definitely be achieved; managing a mental health condition can be achieved; your hopes dreams and ambitions can be achieved. In order to do this you need a plan – you need a Wellness Recovery Action Plan, as I discussed in my previous Blog.

So what does a WRAP consist of?

There are 7 parts to a WRAP – yes 7 – this is quite a project you are taking on. You are taking on “Project ME”! You are investing time and effort into yourself and your future and it will pay off handsomely. When we run WRAP workshops they consist of 6 session – each session 2-3 hours long, and there is work inbetween the sessions. It is a really comprehensive piece of work, and if you think about it that makes sense – you are turning your life around, and making plans for lots of different eventualities, so that YOU feel in control and don’t feel lost and hopeless again; a GREAT place to be.

So these are the 7 sections

1. A Wellness Toolbox – sorry if that makes you cringe a bit (it is American after all!). But this is a very major part of a WRAP, spending time researching, listing, gathering all the things that you love in this world and that make YOU happy. As long as they are safe, legal, not harmful (and preferably reasonably cheap) they count. This is a really fun piece of “work” which WILL reap rewards and which you can add to forever more.

2.  Daily Maintenance Plan – what do YOU need to do EVERY day – the non negotiables, the minimum that you need to do every day to stay well
3.  Dealing with Triggers – identify and plan for every trigger you can think of – birthdays, winter, appointments, certain people etc, etc
4.  Dealing With Early Warning Signs – those slight changes within you that YOU know are a sign that things are not right. Nothing major, maybe just not feeling as energetic, sleep deteriorating etc. etc. And having a plan to do something about it.
5.  When Things Are Getting Worse – maybe the signs and symptoms of your condition are beginning to appear, maybe you are getting more anxious, more irritable, not sleeping. Have a PLAN for this to ward off any potential crisis. Yes – a plan – DO NOT think “Oh it will probably be alright” – have an action plan here. It is SO important.
6.  Crisis Planning – Planning in advance what you want to happen IF things get as far as a crisis, is really helpful and empowering to do. Who will look after the kids/dog/house if you are in hospital? What medications are acceptable or not and why (discuss this with medics beforehand) who do you want to tell/not tell about what is going on?
7.  Post Crisis Planning and Review – after a crisis at what point will you be well enough to take back control? When will you return to your usual tasks? What have you learned about yourself to add to your WRAP?

This is a quick potted version of what a WRAP is. Additionally there are various key concepts and ethics not touched on here, that go along side it. Hopefully this has given you a flavour of how useful a WRAP can be?

A WRAP should be completed by YOU with a fully trained WRAP facilitator. This does not unfortunately happen everywhere, which can lead to poor quality WRAP’s that are not very useful. Here at Unlock Your Wellbeing you can be safe in the knowledge that we are trained and fully accredited with the Copeland Center, experienced at working with groups and individuals and are passionate about WRAP. Do get in touch for more details if you would like to book us to run WRAP sessions for you or your group/organisation.

NEXT TIME ……… Why do a WRAP? Who benefits from a WRAP?

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