The Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), the mental health program developed by Dr. Mary Ellen Copeland, celebrated its 15th anniversary this summer. The Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery recently published their newsletter with this message from Dr. Copeland. In a fascinating look back at the intersection between her personal experience, research, and interaction with individuals living with a mental health condition, Dr. Copeland elucidates her own path to becoming the innovator of WRAP.

Since the development of WRAP, research has shown that participation effectively reduces mental health symptoms, including depression and anxiety. The most significant study thus far was conducted by Cook et al. (2012), and compared WRAP participants to those receiving services as usual. Results showed that the WRAP group reported greater reduced depression and anxiety and greater improvement in overall recovery compared to the group receiving services as usual.

While this important work has been conducted for 15 years, further research is needed to demonstrate the efficacy of the intervention using randomized controlled trials, larger sample sizes, and long term follow up. In a final call to action, Dr. Copeland writes, “You are needed to carry this work into the future, so no more mothers or fathers, no veterans, no more children, no more young adults, no one spends years in institutions, or living sad, unfulfilled lives. You all need to use your administrative, organizational, and networking skills, to take WRAP and the Values and Ethics that surround it and make it available to everyone who needs and wants it, so they can enjoy a full, rich, and rewarding life.”


This post was written by Ari Turrentine, special guest author to the Hogg Blog.