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  • Writer's picturegerpictus


I’ve been through four or five WRAPs (Wellness Recovery Action Plans) since this particular episode of my illness began. I’ve lost count, apologies, but anyway they’ve been trotted out at fairly regular intervals. I’ve been through the process both on a one-to-one basis and in a group. Unfortunately none of them helped me much.

The aim of the plan is to provide you with a series of ‘tools’ to help keep you well. Many of these involve support from your local network (friends and professionals who can help you). This would work well if you actually have a local network – for the most part I don’t, and at that point the plan unravels. People who know me will think of my mentioning networks as just another example of a broken record, but I only want to point out here that having a local network is an important assumption of the plan. Applying the plan needs to take this assumption into consideration.

Another point: the plan seems alarmingly long. One extreme example I recently found on the Web was 60 pages in length. I found it daunting when I worked through each of my plans, even with the help of the facilitator. Admittedly the documents used did contain pages for notes and the plan covers a lot of stuff, but I think that some of it could be condensed: it is very difficult to think of answers to such a number of questions when you’re not well.

So the plan hasn’t worked for me. It has helped many others, I know. However it should not necessarily be the only initial approach to recovery at the cost of others (eg counselling), which I think it often is. One social worker I met said that it was the first thing he turned to when training other mental health workers. I feel such an approach gives an unhelpful bias towards WRAPs as against other recovery tools.

So, it would be really interesting to hear about your experiences of WRAPS – both positive and negative. Have you found them useful? Are there other recovery tools you have used or been offered and how do these compare?


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