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The Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery and the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion invite you to participate in
by Heather Smith, Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator
When I started this journey with WRAP 3 years ago, I was considered a “clinician” rather than a peer. I suppose it was a relatively new concept to include people in WRAP seminars that weren’t widely considered to be in the “peer” category. After a day of listening to Gina Calhoun, Copeland Center Director for Wellness and Recovery Education, tell me that I needed to shed my own personal labels and just listen to what WRAP was telling me, I gladly walked away from the idea that I had to be either a clinician or a peer. I stopped accepting that I had to be limited to one category or label. The group I was with started slowly coming to that same realization too and in what seemed like an instant, we started seeing each other as humans with experiences and feelings and needs and hurts and a desire to be well. That’s what bonded us (some of us still to this day, 3 years later!). We stopped excluding each other based on notions of who belonged and who didn’t.
Whether you've been a collector your whole life or your accumulation is a new issue, the process of creating new habits which lead to less clutter is both rewardi
To seek real change in our lives, it is possible when the journey starts with intentionally looking at how we see our self in the world and ends with making some attempt at a deep, critical self-reflection about whether that self exhibits the values you hope to practice in your life. Each person has a choice to evaluate their systems of thought and question whether those systems were explicitly chosen as representative of their personal values, or whether those systems were implicitly inherited from their embedded histories. This is important because there may be habits of mind that are defining wellness in our lives and maybe limiting how we respond to the world in healthy, self-determining ways. We have inherited much of how we see and interact in the world through our culture and change requires a great deal of unlearning.
Before being hospitalized for long periods of time, grocery stores in my town were relatively small and choices were rather limited. When I came out of long-term hospitalization, grocery stores had ‘grown up’. Many stores today sell food, make-up, cleaning supplies, pharmacy items, etc… and choices are practically unlimited. In this environment, choice can be an overwhelming experience. For this reason, going to the store to buy food was, and still is, a complicated process for me.
It is the end of summer in Vermont. The leaves are starting to turn and the mist in the morning air is magical making each dot of color a unique visual meditation. I have been reflecting on the many rich discussions about living WRAP and creating our personal Plans over the years and I wanted to share with you the big lessons learned from creating a Wellness Toolbox for myself.
Wellness Recovery Action Planning, or WRAP, is an evidence-based system that is used worldwide by people who are dealing with mental health and other kinds of wellness challenges. It is a unique form of mental health support in that is peer-led and self-directed.
Peer support was recognized by a few pioneer professionals as early as the 1930s, such as neuropsychiatrist Abraham Low and psychologist Albert Bandura. Only recently has the field of mental health care begun to use the benefits of peer support through the implementation of a peer specialist workforce. Much change needs to occur to make the full shift toward a comprehensive wellness-based recovery system of support.