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The Wellness Recovery Action Plan

May 21, 2014

Social Integration Primary Counselor, Elizabeth Moore, MS, LPC, NCC recently shared this information to families at our Family Support Group (STEP).

Relapse is part of recovery. Be prepared. Have a plan.

“The Wellness Recovery Action Plan is a structured system for monitoring uncomfortable and distressing signs and symptoms, and through planned responses, reducing, modifying or eliminating those signs and symptoms.  It also includes plans for responses from others when your symptoms have made it impossible for you to continue to make decisions, take care of yourself and keep yourself safe.”

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) is a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) approved program that Skyland Trail offers to clients.  Our Certified Peer Specialist, Wade Lee, leads WRAP groups for clients who are nearing graduation. During the WRAP sessions, clients are able to start their Wellness Recovery Action Plan before discharging from Skyland Trail. This model is designed so that the individual who will use the plan will also write it. By using the WRAP model, the individual will identify how he or she wants help before a crisis occurs.

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan is made up of five sections. In the first section of WRAP, individuals identify what wellness looks like for them – how do they know that they are doing well.

In the second and third sections of WRAP, individuals identify triggers and situations that can lead up to a crisis. During these stages, individuals recognize their own early warning signs and decide how best to deal with these signs. For example, if an individual is having a bad day, a coping skill might be watching his or her favorite movie or going on a long walk with his or her dog.

Section four of WRAP occurs when the situation worsens or when things begin breaking down. In this stage, the individual identifies signs and symptoms pre-crisis and forms a plan of what to do. For example, when a situation worsens, an individual may decide that instead of using the coping skills in stage two, he or she may need to talk to his or her doctor about whether or not the medication is working effectively.

Section five, which is arguably the most useful section of the Wellness Recovery Action Plan, entails forming a crisis plan. This plan answers questions like - who do we call, where do we go, what do we do, how do I know that I need someone else to make decisions for me, etc. Fortunately through the WRAP, the individual in crisis can already have a plan in place when a situation of crisis arises.

Click here for more information about the Wellness Recovery Action Plan.