Wellness & Recovery?

Wellness & Recovery is about how we as individuals can take action to recover our wellness.  It is not about moving away from illness or problems in our lives.  It is about moving towards what we want, hope for, and can achieve to live full and meaningful lives.  

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration of the US Federal Government defines Recovery as "a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential."

The Copeland Center provides training, networking groups, and support designed for communities and individuals to take action and increase wellness in their lives.  Taking action to increase wellness and recovery is possible and can take many forms whether it is for mental health challenges, addictions, or any life issue.  Ultimately, the person is the one who takes action and develops personalized strategies to get well and stay well, however, the person may choose to have supporters, including healthcare professionals, coaches, and mentors, to help them create their wellness strategies, but the individual remains in control of the process. Individuals have learned to develop a lifestyle of action planning for their wellness through the Copeland Center peer-led and peer-engaged group process for many years.  A guiding principle of Copeland Center programs is self-determination and empowerment of the individual. Our tools and processes support people to Take Power Back in their lives and build on their self-agency. 

The Copeland Center for Wellness & Recovery has developed and implemented a training and certification program for co-facilitators worldwide to promote fidelity to the evidence-based peer group process focused on individual empowerment.  Many of our co-facilitated peer-based groups have demonstrated effectiveness in improving personal well-being through continuous evaluations and research studies with our University partners.    The Copeland Center focuses on providing groups with fidelity to values and ethics utilized in Dr. Judith Cook of the University of Illinois in Chicago's evidence-based studies on wellness self-management. We have provided training and certification-building networks of co-facilitators to expand access with fidelity to the practices that work best for people since 2005.   

The Copeland Center offers a variety of wellness & recovery groups.  Group participants create a personalized recovery system of wellness tools and action plans to achieve a self-directed wellness vision despite life’s daily challenges. Participants are encouraged, and when possible, assisted to continue meeting after the formal peer-support groups have concluded and to support each other in using and continuously revising their plans. Essentially the goal is to prepare individuals to develop and foster a mindset of empowerment to take action on their own behalf to get well and stay well. A person’s planning process is the personal structure that can be used for a lifetime, and voluntary peer support groups can be a long-term peer support resource for ensuring that this valuable and personalized recovery system remains sharp and useful for building a healthy and successful life in the community. Formal Copeland Center peer support groups typically range in size from 10 to 15 participants and are led by two trained co-facilitators who are peers who use their own recovery plans. Information is delivered and skills are developed through presentations, discussions, and individual and group exercises. Copeland Center certified co-facilitators provide illustrations through their own lived experience of recovery with members of their peer-support groups. The Copeland Center offers Online live peer group sessions based on wellness and recovery intended to serve those individuals who do not have access to in-person groups. 

The key to ensuring Copeland Center quality peer-support groups is to follow core ethics, values, and practices that the Copeland Center, its members, and the movement of grassroots peer supporters have utilized for over 18 years.  The Copeland Center's international network of trained co-facilitators will continue to build networks of wellness, mental health, and addiction recovery educators using SAMHSA's Taking Action Program and innovative experiential educational peer support curriculums with our many partners and organizational collaborators.  We also partner with Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion to develop and provide evidence-based and experiential peer-led programs that advance community inclusion and participation as essential to whole health and wellbeing.  

The Copeland Center has used and trained over 30,000 people worldwide to use a curriculum called The Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP®).  Mary Ellen Copeland, founder of the Copeland Center and former Board President, created WRAP with the input and support of many peers in recovery. In 2016 Mary Ellen sold her ownership of WRAP to Advocates for Human Potential. WRAP® and Wellness Recovery Action Plan® are registered trademarks of Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP).  AHP owns WRAP®.  As of September of 2023, the Copeland Center's license by AHP to conduct WRAP® training was discontinued, and will not continue training with WRAP. 



In This Section

 Creating A Taking Action for Whole Health & Wellbeing Program 

In order to do mental health wellness and recovery work, it is essential to understand and support the following values and ethics.  

“Recovery and WRAP have changed my life.”

“I’ve gone from being totally disabled to being able to live a full and rich life. I am so grateful.”

“Everything has improved at our organization. People are recovering and moving forward with their lives. Our work is so much more fulfilling.”

“Finally, something I can do to help myself.”

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP®) was developed by people who had been living with a variety of mental health challenges and who were working hard to feel better and get on with their lives. In 1997, several dozen individuals who had experienced serious mental health challenges came together in northern Vermont for an eight-day gathering designed to initiate dialogues on how to improve their emotional and mental health. Many of the attendees had been residents of state psychiatric hospitals at various periods in their lives. They came together to discuss practical strategies for regaining and sustaining their own wellness. They did not know it at the time but this cadre of intrepid explorers was blazing the trail towards a new international self-help movement for wellness and recovery.

The Way WRAP Works!

Check out our implementation guide that synthesizes scientific research and in the field observations. The Way WRAP Works!

The Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery is a peer-run non-profit training, technical assistance and advocacy organization that works to promote community inclusion, peer support, and wellness recovery education.