WRAP: Empowering Peer Support Through Wellness Action Recovery Plan

Wellness Action Recovery Plan (WRAP) is a powerful tool in recovery. It offers a personalized plan to help individuals navigate the challenges of a life in recovery. 

As a peer support specialist, this training can be a game changer

In this article, the goal is to provide a solid understanding of WRAP, its principles, and how it benefits the individuals we serve. All in all, this training can be a game changer for peer support specialists.

Table of Contents

What Is WRAP?

WRAP, or Wellness Recovery Action Plan, is a self-designed prevention and wellness process that anyone can use. It was developed in 1997 by Mary Ellen Copeland, an esteemed mental health advocate. Since then, it has been widely adopted and used in different settings around the world.

Peer Support WRAP Plan

The idea is to get well, stay well, and make life better overall. 

More specifically, it empowers individuals to take charge of their wellness. This is done by creating personalized plans for overcoming challenges and achieving recovery. By incorporating evidence-based practices, WRAP encourages individuals to identify triggers, develop coping strategies, and foster resilience.

Key Elements of WRAP

  • Wellness Toolbox

    The foundation of WRAP lies in the creation of a wellness toolbox. In other words, a personalized collection of strategies, techniques, and resources that support mental well-being. From meditation and physical exercise to creative outlets and social connections, the key is finding what works for the individual.

  • Daily Maintenance Plan

    WRAP puts emphasis on daily routines and activities that promote stability and overall wellness. A well-structured daily maintenance plan includes things such as regular exercise, healthy eating, medication adherence, and engaging in meaningful activities.These intentional habits are the building blocks of sustained well-being.

  • Triggers and Early Warning Signs

    Recognizing triggers and early warning signs is a crucial step in both mental health and addiction recovery. WRAP encourages individuals to identify these triggers and signs. Which in turn, allows people to be proactive in dealing with them.More than that, having this knowledge can help people understand themselves better and work on reducing those strong emotional reactions.

  • Crisis Planning

    One of the best parts, WRAP equips individuals with a crisis plan tailored to their unique needs and preferences. This plan outlines specific steps to take, identifies support systems, and provides guidance on accessing professional help if required.Having a solid plan gives people the increased confidence to handle challenging situations more effectively.

Incorporating WRAP into Peer Support

The Wellness Action Recovery Plan and peer support were made for each other. Well, maybe not literally, but still. This is because they are both person centered and value shared decision making. 

More than that, it encourages autonomy and personal choice. All of this works together towards long term recovery. As we mentioned in The Ultimate Guide To Mastering Peer Support Skills, WRAP is a valuable addition to your toolkit. 

Let’s see how WRAP looks in action.

WRAP Facilitators

Trained WRAP facilitators guide individuals through the process of developing their personal WRAP plans. These facilitators are typically individuals who have firsthand experience with mental health challenges and recovery.

By sharing their own stories and insights, WRAP facilitators create a safe space for individuals to explore and develop their own wellness strategies

Wrap Facilitator

Group Workshops

Group workshops offer a fun and collaborative environment for individuals to engage with WRAP. These workshops provide a platform for participants to share their experiences, learn from one another, and gain insights into the process.

The collective wisdom and support shared in group workshops strengthen and promote a sense of community

Peer-to-Peer Support

Peer-to-peer support forms the backbone of WRAP implementation. (See, I told you it was a match made in heaven!) Those who have successfully navigated their own recovery journey serve as role models and mentors for those just beginning theirs.

Similarly, they offer guidance, encouragement, and understanding. This is all to make sure individuals feel supported throughout their WRAP process

Integration into Mental Health Services

The WRAP plan can be incorporated into treatment plans as well as exit plans for those graduating from inpatient programs. Honestly, if you have never seen one, they are pretty incredible. It covers everything you could think of from support systems and medication to what steps to take in case of relapse and crisis situations.

All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.

By incorporating WRAP into treatment plans, we are promoting  the recovery-oriented approach. More than that, we’re promoting self-advocacy and empowering individuals to actively participate in their well-being. 

Both peer support and WRAP are all about collaboration and shared decision-making

Becoming WRAP Certified

To get the full understanding, as well as guidance for how to implement the WRAP plan in peer support, you need to take the training. It can be a little daunting, mostly because of the price tag, but I promise you won’t regret your decision. 

There are three stages to the training, each one becoming more advanced.

WRAP Certification
  • Seminar I

    WRAP Seminar I introduces the five core WRAP concepts and helps participants craft their personal WRAP. It can be customized to fit specific groups like veterans, youth, or families, and addresses various challenges, from addiction and trauma to aging and mental health.

  • Seminar II

    WRAP Seminar II is for those who've completed Seminar I and equips them to lead WRAP seminars. It involves interactive activities, teaching how to guide WRAP structures, sharing personal WRAP experiences, and understanding WRAP's ethics and values. After finishing Seminar II, participants can facilitate Seminar I.

  • Seminar III

    The final seminar is advanced level WRAP facilitator training. Anyone wanting to take this training must have completed the first two seminars. Additionally, it has more extensive requirements for certification.

The best part about taking the WRAP training, is that it’s offered for free at different times throughout the year. While there are many avenues to getting certified, The Copeland Center is a good place to start.

Taking It Further

In addition to the formal training programs, the Copeland Center also offers various online courses to enhance peer practices and provides training for community responders through a course called Taking Action for Community Responders.

These additional resources aim to support the implementation of WRAP and further expand its reach in diverse settings.

Peer Support WRAP Plan: Final Thoughts

Wellness Action Recovery Plan (WRAP) has proved to be a valuable addition to the mental health and addiction field.

So much so, that it has been endorsed by everyone from the CDC to The World Health Organization.

Studies show that WRAP has a positive impact on recovery outcomes. Not only that, but people report an overall improvement in life satisfaction and wellbeing.  Truthfully, this isn’t all that surprising. 

The program takes a holistic approach and looks at the whole person, not just their problems. By utilizing the WRAP plan in peer support, we can help individuals build a solid foundation to work from. 

We hope you found this article helpful and that maybe it inspired you to take the training yourself. Would you leave us a comment and let us know how we are doing? We want to build this platform to fit your needs as best that we can. 

As always, thank you for the work you do!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone become a WRAP facilitator?

Yes, anyone with lived experience of mental health challenges and recovery can become a WRAP facilitator. WRAP facilitators undergo specialized training to develop the skills necessary to guide individuals through the process of creating their personal wellness plans. Their firsthand experience and empathy make them valuable assets in supporting others on their recovery journey

How can I create my own Wellness Toolbox?

Creating a wellness toolbox involves identifying activities and strategies that promote your well-being. Consider activities like exercise, meditation, creative pursuits, and connecting with loved ones. Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you and brings you joy and a sense of calm. Remember, your wellness toolbox is unique to you and should reflect your personal preferences and needs.

How long does it take to complete a WRAP plan?

The time required to complete a WRAP plan may vary from person to person. It depends on individual factors such as the depth of exploration, the complexity of personal experiences, and the time dedicated to the process. Some individuals may complete their plans in a few sessions, while others may take more time. Remember, the journey is as important as the destination, so take the time you need to develop a thorough and meaningful WRAP plan.

Is WRAP effective in reducing clinical symptoms?

While WRAP has shown positive outcomes in terms of self-perceived recovery, its impact on reducing clinical symptoms is still being explored. Some studies have shown a small effect on depression in randomized-controlled trials. However, the primary focus of WRAP is on personal empowerment, well-being, and holistic recovery rather than solely symptom reduction.

Elijah Meason


Elijah Meason is a Certified Peer Support Worker in the State of New Mexico. He is a SMART Recovery facilitator and is working toward getting his Masters degree in social work. He is currently working at a dual diagnosis treatment center helping individuals overcome mental health and addiction challenges.

Elijah Meason


Elijah Meason is a Certified Peer Support Worker in the State of New Mexico. He is a SMART Recovery facilitator and is working toward getting his Masters degree in social work. He is currently working at a dual diagnosis treatment center helping individuals overcome mental health and addiction challenges.

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