The WRAP plan.

In this blog post I wanted to talk about a valuable program that I went through during a few of my many psychiatric hospital stays. A woman by the name of Mary Ellen Copeland PhD, developed a program called WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan). At first I was skeptical that it would help me, but when I opened my mind up to the possibility of it improving my life I was pleasantly surprised.
There are seven main elements that make up the WRAP plan, and they are as follows:
1.) Wellness toolbox
2.) Daily Maintenance plan
3.) Comprising a list of triggers, as well as an action plan
4.) Identifying your personal early warning signs and an action plan
5.) Identifying when you are breaking down, and an action plan
6.) A plan for during a crisis
7.) A plan for after the crisis has occurred
The first part of the WRAP plan is to establish a description of what you are like when you are well, and a list of activities you need and/or want to do everyday to continue being well. The second part of the Wrap plan is to make a detailed list of your personal triggers. Triggers may be things like watching a movie that has a scene in it that reminds you of trauma in your past, it may be certain people, it could even be specific places or smells. It is highly important to think about your triggers and write them down so that you don’t constantly find yourself surrounded by your triggers, and when you do find yourself faced with one you can deal with it properly. Write down the trigger, and beside it, the response that it instills in you. Next, write down interventions you can use to help prevent a trigger from manifesting as a serious symptom.
The third step is to write about the early warning signs that you, or other trusted people have observed in you when you initially start to become unwell in anyway. A good example of this is, not bathing for several days, or neglecting to eat. After you have a list of all the early warning signs you and your loved ones can come up with, write about the things you can do when these early warning signs pop up. The fourth step concerns when things are breaking down in your life and you may need help. Comprise a detailed list of signs and symptoms that indicate you are beginning to break down. This is where you create your action plan for when you have reached this breaking down point. You may need to call your therapist and request more frequent sessions, ask a family member or friend to stay with you or to implement your own personal coping mechanisms like drawing or taking a warm bubble bath.
Next is the crisis plan. This is the plan you create to be implemented when you are completely in need of help immediately, for example, requiring immediate hospitalization. Be very very sure that when you write this entire WRAP plan, especially this section that you are in a stable mind-set, this way, if the times comes for you to use it, it will be logically thought out and effective. Like Mary Ellen Copeland writes on the WRAP plan instructions, creating this plan while you are well and healthy will help you to stay in control even when everything is out of control. There are six parts to the crisis plan.
Part one of the crisis plan has you refer to your daily maintenance list where you wrote about the activities you need to do everyday in order to stay well, happy, and healthy. Part two is a list you have written of signs and symptoms that you need another human being to take full control over decisions on your behalf and your care. Part three is a list of people whom you know deep in your heart and soul can be trusted to do what is listed in part two. Include their names, relationship to you, contact information, and what exactly you want them to do for you. (i.e. take you to the hospital). In this section it is good to also list people you absolutely do not want anything to do with your treatment and care and why. Part four consists of a list of all medications, herbal remedies, and supplements you take on a daily basis. List the name of the medication, the dosage you are on, when and how often you take it, why you take it and who prescribed it if you know. If any other medications may be used while you are seeking help, list the ones you would be okay with using and why, and which ones you do not want to be given and why. This would probably be a good place to mention any allergies to medications and even food just in case!
Part five includes treatments that will be helpful to you if they are needed, and ones that will not help you.Part six is where the community comes in. If there is anything that can be put in place within your home and/or community to help you stay safe and get well while avoiding hospitalization this is the place to write about it. Part seven is where you make a list of the treatment facilities you feel comfortable going to if you need hospitalization, as well as the ones you do not feel comfortable going to. Make sure you discuss why. Part eight is called “help from others”. In this section of the crisis plan make a list of things specific people can do to help reduce your symptoms as well as things you do not want anyone doing. The final part of the crisis plan is part nine. In part nine is “symptoms, lack of symptoms, or actions that my supporters no longer need to use this crisis plan” to quote Mary Ellen Copeland
The WRAP plan is amazing at helping you maintain your health, well being and happiness everyday, I highly suggest you print it off of the internet and fill it out! Here is a link where you can print one off.
Also, if you would like to visit Mary Ellen Copeland’s website here is the web address:
I really hope that this blog post (and all the others) are helping you! Like always, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or even would like some help on filling out your own WRAP plan please feel free to comment on the blog, on the facebook page, or email me privately at please always remember that your higher power loves you, many people in your lives love you, and I love you….and always strive to love yourself unconditionally. You deserve it, and you can’t truly love anyone else until you love the person in the mirror.
Much love, Ashley.


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