History of WRAP
The WRAP® system was developed by people who had been dealing with a variety of psychiatric symptoms and who were working hard to feel better and get on with their lives. Mary Ellen Copeland, an internationally acclaimed author, educator, and mental health advocate, initially practiced WRAP® to help with her own struggles with mental health challenges. In 1997, Mary Ellen began to share WRAP® with other people who were struggling with a wide range of emotional, physical, and mental health challenges. Through her books and lectures, she has taught tens of thousands of people over the past decade-and-a-half to adapt WRAP® to their own personal recovery journeys.
Now, WRAP® is being utilized in formal and informal recovery programs in all 50 U.S. States and in countries around the world. WRAP® has been recognized as an Evidence Based Practice in the field of mental health recovery. Researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois recently conducted a study of eighty individuals who participated in WRAP® programs; the research revealed “significant improvements in symptoms and many psychosocial outcome areas associated with recovery” (Cook, et al, 2009).
For over two decades, research studies have validated the fact that significant numbers of people with mental health problems and substance abuse disorders have been able to self- manage their conditions with positive outcomes. (Onken, Craig, Ridgway, et al, 2007). During that time, specific interventions and practices have been developed to promote self-managed recovery (Bodenheimer and Lorig, et al, 2002). WRAP® is probably the most widely disseminated self-management practice in the United States (Roberts & Wolfson, 2004).
When the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) presented Mary Ellen Copeland with the 2009 Voice Award for her work as a leader in the mental health movement (PR Newswire, 2009), it marked a recognition that WRAP® had emerged from the fringes and was now an integral part of the nation’s behavioral health system. The new research findings by Dr. Judith Cook have validated the efficacy of WRAP®. As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, WRAP® is being implemented by behavioral health departments, mental health agencies, substance abuse treatment programs, and by an array of other recovery groups in the United States and across the globe.
The Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery was established in 2003 by Dr. Mary Ellen Copeland in honor of her mother, Kate Copeland, to insure the continuance of the networking of her well-known and highly respected mental health recovery and WRAP work. Since 1988, Dr. Copeland has shared her findings in hundreds of workshops, trainings and presentations in the United States and around the world. In addition, initially through her own work, and more recently through the Copeland Center, she has trained over 1500 people to lead groups based on her work, and 130 people to train people to lead these facilitator trainings.
Dr. Copeland continues to work closely with the Copeland Center staff and a team of Advanced Level Facilitators to insure that the Center continues to collect data on what helps people get well and stay well, and what insures the success of WRAP groups, and to incorporate these findings into training events and mental health recovery and WRAP resources.
If you are considering integrating Dr. Copeland’s program, Mental Health Recovery including WRAP, into your agency or organization, please contact the Copeland Center directly to insure that your program accurately reflects Dr. Copeland’s and the Center’s most current findings.
"This women’s group met for 12 weeks in 2006 learning the basic tenets of WRAP under ... my leadership as their WRAP trainer. All of these women needed intensive services and were on the ACT Team that provided extra support in clinical services, life skills training, getting and keeping housing and which were helpful in bringing people to self-sufficiency in the community. WRAP fit right in! What once was considered unobtainable became a reachable goal, an achievable success story and brought hope with obtainable recovery."
Marjorie Manning Vaughan