The new year is often when people start thinking about wellness goals and behaviour changes they’d like to make. However, if you’ve ever searched the internet for ways to get and stay well, physically and emotionally, you know how daunting it can be. There are so many different ideas and suggestions that it can be difficult to know where to start. Even if you do know where to start, incorporating wellness activities into your daily life can sometimes be challenging without some support and encouragement.
At the Canadian Mental Health Association, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (C.M.H.A. H.K.P.R.), we offer the WRAP group, which is a peer-led group to support people in developing individualized tools and strategies that support their unique wellness goals. WRAP stands for ‘Wellness Recovery Action Plan’ and is a recovery-focused and strength-based program that is run over 8 weeks and is led by trained mental health professionals with lived experience.
The program is evidence-based, meaning there have been many research studies showing its effectiveness. It was developed in 1997 by a “group of people who were searching for ways to overcome their own mental health issues and move on to fulfilling their life dreams and goals”1 and is now used all around the world.
A review of the research has shown that the WRAP program is particularly promising for reducing anxiety and depression and increasing general functioning and well-being.
Through the recovery principals of hope, personal responsibility, education, self-advocacy, and support, WRAP participants:
- Create their own list of wellness tools
- Develop a daily maintenance plan
- Identify their triggers and early warning signs
- Develop actions plans for when they aren’t doing well
- Develop pro-active crisis plans
- Develop post-crisis plans
While each participant’s experience is different, program facilitators have seen the participants leave with increased confidence, increased sense of trust and belonging through developing relationships and being part of a safe and supportive group, and increased feelings of hope.
In fact, surveys collected by C.M.H.A. H.K.P.R. at the end of the 8-week program between 2013-2017 showed that:
- 100% of participants had hopefulness for their recovery
- 90% of participants used wellness tools in their daily routine
- 94% took responsibility for their own wellness
- 94% had a lifestyle that promoted recovery
Carli Mulligan, a Peer Outreach Worker and WRAP facilitator says “connecting with others with similar experiences in an empathic environment is empowering and expands the range of possibilities for self-care.”
Let’s talk about what this means in terms of behaviour change…
How many of you think you ‘should’ exercise, but then do everything but? When we take personal responsibility for our wellness and gain increased awareness of what we need to feel our best – with support – then incorporating some movement in our day can become something we want to do because we know it makes us feel good, as opposed to something someone said we should do. Talk about empowering!
It’s a chance for people to explore the wide range of options for self-care and to decide for themselves what works and what doesn’t – and use that to create their personalized wellness toolkit.
Stay tuned for our blog post coming out next week for an opportunity to see what wellness tools others have used and to start trying some out for yourself!
This program is for anyone and self-referrals are accepted. The groups are offered in Peterborough, Minden, Lindsay, Omemee, and possibly more locations in the future.
Contact Carli Mulligan to find out more by calling 705-748-6711 extension 2068
You can also check out the website below to read more.
- WRAP and Recovery Books. (2016). WRAP is. http://mentalhealthrecovery.com/wrap-is/