Wellness Recovery Action Plan

Hope4Life NI Ltd delivers training that enables people to develop a primary intervention action plan to manage and overcome anxiety, stress and depression – the programme is WRAP® (Wellness Recovery Action Plan®). Increasing numbers of people each year are suffering unnecessarily and in many cases silently from anxiety and stress, this being the most prevalent reason for absenteeism within the NI workforce.

Recent statistics indicate that for both the Private and Public sectors the total figure for lost income due to absenteeism to our local economy in 2012 was in excess of £790 million, this figure however doesn’t reflect the lost revenue accumulated each year by the increasing levels of presenteeism, nor does it include additional numbers listed as physical illness which may in fact be the effects from suffering from mental health issues, with this in mind the figure could be nearer to £I Billion.


The founder of this programme, Mary Ellen Copeland began to share WRAP® with other people who were struggling with a wide range of mental health challenges over two decades ago and since then WRAP® has been recognised as an Evidence-Based Practice in the field of mental health recovery. Research studies have validated the fact that significant numbers of people have been able to self- manage their anxiety and stress with extremely positive outcomes. WRAP® is probably the most widely circulated self-management practice within the United States, Europe and Australia and it’s now available in the UK and Ireland. This is a unique programme which approaches the issues from a primary intervention and recovery model and in 2012 the Royal College of Nursing awarded two members of our facilitation team Nurse of the Year for the paradigm shift that WRAP® brings to the management of wellbeing provision.


This unique training model provides primary intervention for the prevention of stress anxiety and depression. Our facilitation teams engage with individuals through this person-centred, strengths-based framework, assisting in delivering a positive, practical and transferable wellbeing plan for life.

We deliver specialist wellbeing training for mentor schemes for young people, adults and the elderly within our society and work with individual groups such as schools, community groups, offenders and ex-offenders, clergy, veterans, sports groups, SME’s and those providing services within local agencies and authorities.

We actively promote cross-community alliances to help deal with low self-esteem, stress, anxiety and depression, through the involvement of Teachers, Parents, Community Youth Workers, Probation, Churches and Community Associations. By developing WRAP® as part of the focus on health and wellbeing these groups are creating a tangible wellness plan in addition to forming an atmosphere of recognition and engagement, enabling increased levels of self-esteem, confidence and self-worth.

Taking a proactive approach to managing wellbeing encourages individuals to contemplate what they need to do daily to keep well, how to identify the signs or triggers for declining wellbeing, what to do if a crisis occurs and how to develop emotional resilience to manage and assist in their recovery. Embracing a pre-emptive approach to wellbeing can dramatically decrease both emotional and physical symptoms, therefore reducing the need for prolonged absences from school and work, issues at home or social issues with friends and the wider community.

Our organisation offers the following additional benefits that are not available through other providers of WRAP®:-

  • The 5 Advanced Level WRAP® Facilitators available within Northern Ireland are associated with our organisation and that of our sister organisation Refine NI Ltd
  • Our focus is on the primary intervention aspect of this programme rather than solely as a recovery model
  • Our courses are specifically designed to enhance the delivery for the needs of the groups we are serving through discussions we ensure that each programme meets the needs of the delegates attending the course.
  • We do not deliver a “service user” clinical programme, but rather a programme that moulds the needs of both the organisation and that of the delegates
  • We have adapted and improved the WRAP® programmes to include additional practical, fun and engaging elements to ensure retention recall and implementation
  • Our 6 months aftercare service
  • Specific courses can be tailored to focus on additional concerns such as trauma, suicide prevention, self-harm, PTSD and addictions.
  • Our team are highly experienced practitioners trained in many disciplines, such as CBT and
  • STORM which equip them with the skills and knowledge to intervene when a person has thoughts of suicide and self-injury.
  • WRAP® has also been used with great success in helping with lifelong conditions such as
  • Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis and Heart Conditions.

Our objectives are to:-

  • Educate and advance accessible mental health training for the prevention and recovery from stress, anxiety, depression, abuse, addictions, suicidal thoughts and isolation.
  • We will engage, equip and empower individuals with the tools and support they need to recover
  • Develop strong dependable role models and support networks
  • Enlist Young People, Parents and Grandparents as mentors and key supporters
  • To further develop the mentors to reach those most at risk within our local schools and communities.
  • To actively encourage cross-community involvement and partnerships across all divides.

Five Key Concepts
Hope – We evaluate what hope means to you, what gives you hope or takes it away and investigates how can we nurture hope.
Personal Responsibility – It’s up to us all to consider this, we look at the consequences when personal responsibility is ignored and what the benefits are when it’s put into practice.
Education – Learning all you can about what you are experiencing so you can make good decisions about all aspects of your life. Stress and anxiety can be addressed if you know how to develop your attitude and approach. That it’s up to you to grow and develop personally and professionally.
Self-Advocacy – Effective tools to equip you to find your voice and to understand how to speak out with confidence and respect to connect with others and achieve what you need.
Support – While working toward your wellness is up to you, receiving support from others, and giving support

Each bullet point includes the creation of an action plan to manage, diffuse or eliminate symptoms


  • Daily maintenance Plan & Wellness toolkit
  • Triggers
  • Early Warning Signs
  • When things are breaking down
  • Safety Planning
  • Implementation to practice
  • Completion of a personalised action plan


WRAP® 2 Day training course
The 2 Day WRAP® training is delivered to conform to the combined needs of the participants, managers and overall organisation requirements. The training is delivered Monday to Friday commencing at 9.00 am and finishing at 4.30 pm. The 2 Day WRAP® training is also available in an open session’s format once per quarter, these are available to organisations limited in sending minimum delegates or for those who wish to use this as a pilot session; these sessions are always conducted over two consecutive days. Once completed all delegates are qualified to conduct WRAP® training on a one-to-one basis offering a cascade approach to other members of staff

Team WRAP® 1 Day training course
The 1 Day Team WRAP® training is delivered to help develop a cohesive Team environment; in these sessions, we focus on what does a Team look like when it has hope, takes personal responsibility, actions Education and Advocates for themselves and others and knows where and who to go to for Support. This training is delivered Monday to Friday commencing at 9.00 am and finishing at 4.30 pm. This one-day team session is only available once the 2-day WRAP® training has been completed.

WRAP® Facilitator training course for Staff
This course is an intensive 5-day workshop that prepares participants to facilitate WRAP® facilitation and equips them with the skills and materials to facilitate courses in their organisation. It is for people who have completed the 2-day WRAP® training.

The WRAP® Facilitator training provides an experiential learning environment based on mutuality and self-determination. Participants on this course will be expected to participate in interactive learning activities and demonstrate their own experience with WRAP.

This training is appropriate for anyone who wishes to conduct WRAP® facilitation groups, working with others to develop their own WRAP® and conduct leadership and development training with emotional resilience and wellbeing within their organisation. Participants are expected to have a good working knowledge of WRAP and share their experiential knowledge of how WRAP® can work and have evidence of this within their own lives and the lives of those around them.
Before attending the training, it is expected that you have familiarity with the different parts of WRAP® through completion of one of the following prerequisites (which must be conducted by a WRAP® Facilitator):

  • 2-day Seminar I course or workshop,
  • 4 or 8-week Seminar I group or workshop, or
  • WRAP Retreat

Additionally, participants should have developed and used their own WRAP® or assisted and supported another person in developing and using their plans. Please note that all WRAP® courses must be delivered by a minimum of two qualified facilitators to comply with the values and ethics of the course and facilitators will need to attend a refresher course every two years.


The ‘Youth WRAP‘ programme information is communicated through talks, discussions and dialogue as well as individual and group tasks and exercises in a safe environment. It allows the young person to:-

  • Discover what life is like when they have hope
  • Identify their specific needs for healthy development
  • Understand how to behave and function better
  • Develop courage and determination to speak out for what is right
  • Learn how to articulate their needs and aspirations in a concise and respectful manner
  • Understand fully what needs to be altered or amended in their day to day lives
  • Create and manage a personal action plan

“Youth” WRAP – Wellness Recovery Action Plan® is a perfect solution and underpins the research findings as this programme moves away from symptom management and is instead focused on education, prevention and early intervention. ‘Youth WRAP’ (Wellness and Recovery Action Plan ®) which is a unique programme targeted and implemented specifically at 13–18-year-olds to help them explore their full potential and also will provide ‘Mentor Role-Models’ who will help support and guide the young people as they deal with issues in their lives.

Mentors/Teachers/Youth Workers will also undertake the WRAP® programme to fully understand the personal WRAP action plans. This will help and equip them to offer advice, encouragement and ongoing support to the young people assisting them in the continual revision of their personal WRAP® plans in line with situations that they encounter. The Mentors/Teachers/Youth Workers will meet with the young people once per week and help them review their ‘Youth WRAP’ personal action plans and specifically review their wellbeing plan and discuss situations they have faced and how they have reacted to situations that have happened during their week. The mentor role-models will encourage the young people by providing advice and suggestions on better ways in which the young person may deal with difficult or awkward situations and help them to continually revise their personal wellbeing plans.

<h3>Course Overview</h3>

  • Up to 32 young people trained and developed and prepared their personal WRAP® action plans
  • Up to 16 Mentor Volunteers complete best-practice mentoring programme and develop their personal WRAP® action plans
  • Volunteer Mentors provide a support network to young people for at least a period of twelve months helping them deal with situations and in revising their personal action plans

Action is always a better option than reaction, especially in a crisis and Youth WRAP® provides pupils, staff, parents and the community as a whole with an “Action” Plan which is focused on individual wellness. Schools are an ideal setting to address health and wellbeing and our Youth programme can help transform the peer pressure culture and develop teenage wellness. Taking a proactive approach to managing your pupil’s personal wellbeing by encouraging them to contemplate what it is that they need to keep well, how to identify the signs or triggers for declining health, what to do if a crisis occurs and how to get back on track after a crisis. This pre-emptive approach will dramatically impact not only on the pupils but the teachers too offering both a simple plan that has a major impact on attitudes and their view of the future, ensuring that they know and believe that there is always hope.

Many schools are highly supportive of the idea that both staff and pupils, whether they have a noticeable mental health issue or not, would benefit greatly from developing a personal wellness plan. They appreciate too, that at times, life’s pressures can place everyone under increased levels of stress and unnecessary conflict. By developing WRAP® as part of the focus on health and wellbeing schools are creating tangible and measurable plans as well as forming an atmosphere of recognition for the teachers, mentors and students- after all, it is imperative that during the formative years that the pupils are given every opportunity to flourish and grow into well rounded and self-sufficient adults of the future.

Interestingly if you say WRAP® backwards you get… “Plan, Action, Recover, Wellness”.

WRAP® (Wellness Recovery Action Plan®) is an excellent recovery tool for Veterans and found especially effective when presented to by a trained peer facilitator.

By: Eric J. Fournier, Vice President, VT Vet To Vet (September 2015)

Veterans find WRAP® to be an effective tool in their recovery. Vermont Vet To Vet has incorporated WRAP® into their recovery groups with great resources such as WRAP® for Veterans and People in the Military. Each group has a different focus and uses WRAP® in very unique ways to help Veterans cope with their personal recovery. Facilitators who are trained in WRAP® teach their fellow Veterans how to make their personal WRAP® plans. Usually, facilitators only have one or two groups worth of time to teach Veterans how to use WRAP® so the lessons are streamlined, but effective. Often facilitators will report being approached by Veterans after they have graduated from their programs and the Veterans will tell the facilitator how much their WRAP® plan has helped them in their recovery.

The reason that WRAP® is highly effective among Veterans is because of its structure. Often when a Veteran is released from the military they lack structure in their lives and WRAP® helps them refocus and build structure back into their lives. Another reason WRAP® is an effective tool among the Veteran population is because many Veterans are selfless. Being selfless is something that is instilled into Veterans as part of their lifestyle. For instance, the Navy motto is Honour, Courage, & Commitment; they are required to think of the good of the unit before themselves, honouring the Navy, being courageous for their fellow shipmates, and being committed to the mission. WRAP® helps Veterans allow themselves to focus on their own self – sometimes for the first time in years. Questions like what do you need, who do you need to help you, and what will help you feel better are not normal day to day things that many Veterans think of. Often it’s the opposite, what can Veterans do to help their families, what can Veterans do to help their company succeed, putting others first.

Culture is very important to understand when discussing WRAP® because the needs of a civilian who has never served will be entirely different than the needs of a Veteran or current Military member. It’s not that those who are in the Military are more special then civilians, it’s just that the needs and the language used should be different. When Vet To Vet runs their groups they avoid language that refers to war stories or questions referring to violence. The facilitators are also familiar with the terminology of the different branches of service. As referenced before it takes time to coax a Veteran into speaking about their personal needs. Many Veterans only trust talking about their needs and problems to other Veterans and will seek their peer’s help before talking to a professional. It’s one of the reasons for the success of Vermont Vet To Vet for the last 9 years and why Vet To Vet uses WRAP® as a key component in their programmes.