It’s a WRAP!
This is blog 6 of a series of 10 blogs on this topic. We’ve been sharing some thoughts and experiences of peer counselors J, K, M, R and Y, working with Recovery Innovations Arizona (RIAZ) both as participants in the system and as coaches helping others. The WRAP program through RIAZ makes a difference in peoples’ lives.
J describes it as “a personalized plan that you make for yourself, so we share it in a group but each individual does their own WRAP.” It focuses on what you need and what works for you rather than someone telling you, ‘This is what you need to do.’ It gave J “a lot of balance in my life. When I first did my WRAP, I did not know the difference between breaking down and crisis. It was all lumped together but now after about 10 years of WRAP, I know when things are starting rather than when they are in a crisis stage. I recommend it to anybody, because it helps you learn how to maintain yourself with your systems.”
R adds, “And stay out of the hospital, too!” It’s preventive maintenance and like preventive maintenance you’ve got to do it on a regular basis. You can’t just do it once and then everything’s good. M describes it “like a journey you’re going on and you take that journey and you have choice. If you make that choice to do recovery and believe in it and believe in yourself, you can be anything and do anything you want.”
An important part of a WRAP program is the requirement that you be willing to ask for help or allow others help you. One of the biggest issues in working with mental health challenges is the idea of having to take a pill or go to a therapist, giving up control of life emotionally and psychologically. M accepts, “The pill has to now control my emotions and allow me to be less depressed or not to have psychosis symptoms.” Part of the issue of empowerment might also mean, “I need help. I need assistance. I may need to take a medication as a part of that process of recovery.” It’s a very difficult area. In Medicine, we might wrongly call it “non-adherence” or noncompliance.
If someone is not working a strong WRAP program, a Wellness Recovery Action Plan, and not using support systems, it creates a lot of difficulty in that person’s life.
We’ll focus on this in our next blog.