WRAP, The Door to Unlimited Possibilities
By Bre Williams, Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator
On April 28th-May 2nd, PEERS happily certified 18 African American WRAP Facilitators, under the tutelage of amazing Advanced Level WRAP Facilitators BJ North, Sharon Kuehn, and Ray Mills. The experience, the sight, and the fruition of months of planning, advocating, and believing, was truly an uplifting and empowering experience. BJ North commented that “WRAP history has been made”, as there had yet to be an all-African-American 5 day facilitators training. The newly certified facilitators had the honor of being welcomed to the wonderful world of WRAP facilitation from president of the Copeland Center Board Khatera Aslami-Tamplen, and Executive Director of the Copeland Center Matthew Federici via Skype.
This picture of the facilitators is not only a reflection of Hope, Responsibility, Education, Advocacy, and Support, but also supports the idea that WRAP may not be for everyone, but is, indeed, for anyone.
In the world of wellness, mental health, and recovery, the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) is a household name. From its early conception for mental health recovery, to its world wide recognition and use today for families, children, organizations and soon to be whole health, WRAP has grown to be a tool that any and every person can use if they want to use it. With the help of an awesome consumer-run organization called PEERS, WRAP was again proven to be an accessible and useful tool for all, no matter what walk of life or cultural background one comes from.
PEERS stands for Peers Envisioning and Engaging in Recovery Services, and is an innovative and extraordinary non-profit in Alameda County California. PEERS is the first agency to achieve the designation as a Center of Excellence in WRAP by the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery. For the past 2 years, PEERS has focused on the need of culturally specific services for the African American community. The Social Inclusion campaign wanted to provide a lasting effect in the African American community by giving back something people could use no matter what area of life challenge they were trying to recover from. One may feel that WRAP is not a culturally specific tool, and therefore would not suffice as something useful for the African American community. However there were many who held high hopes and had persistent advocacy that WRAP was useful, and do-able, for all.
At PEERS, we are innovators who continue to overcome adversity and defy the status quo. We offer new solutions for wellness and lead by example that mental health recovery is possible. We envision a world where people can freely choose among many recovery options that address the needs of the whole person, and we see a future where people with mental health challenges are valued for their essential contributions to society. PEERS offers WRAP groups, overviews, and trainings, informative radio and T.V. shows, transition age youth (TAY) services, spirituality and empowerment groups, and has a bustling Social Inclusion Campaign that focuses on the needs of underserved populations by connecting, collaborating, and contributing to the improvement of mental health services for the said populations.