• Family Outreach
    Family Outreach & Response Program
    familymentalhealthrecovery.org
    Welcome to the FOR community

The Family Outreach and Response Program (FOR) offers recovery oriented mental health support services to families and youth.

Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)

What about God?

What makes you feel depressed or anxious?

What helps you to feel better?

What if you had a do-it-yourself action plan that gave you the answers; a plan that helped you cope with change and stay balanced?

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan -WRAP - is such a plan. It helps people monitor their negative feelings and replace them with positive ones. It works for those living with depression, bipolar disorder and other mental health challenges, but also for anyone who wants to be healthy.

Wellness Recovery Action Plan

The system is easy to use and empowering. It can be used on your own or with the support of loved ones and health care professionals. The program was developed by Mary Ellen Copeland, MS, MA, who has bipolar disorder. As she searched for ways to cope with her disorder on a day-to-day basis, she found answers through her own experience and her research of others living with mental health disorders. The result was the system and the book Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP). Anyone can learn the system from the book or by attending a workshop. You’ll begin by developing a Wellness Toolbox.

Here’s how it works.

Using a three-ring binder, you’ll set up multiple sections. Following the instructions in the book, you develop lists for each section, some of which are:

  • What healthy activities might I do every day? (Exercise for half an hour, spend time with partner…)
  • What events could trigger my symptoms? (Inadequate sleep, spending too much time alone, family conflicts…)
  • What things can I do to feel better? (Relaxation exercises, spending time with positive people, listening to music…)
  • What warning signs might indicate the situation is getting worse? (Lack of energy, irritability, avoiding people…)
  • What can I do if it does? (Ask support person for help, talk to therapist…)

You can use the book to maintain daily healthy habits, use its strategies when your symptoms worsen, or share with a support person who can help. It also includes tips on developing a support system; exercises for relaxing; and help with diet, exercise and sleep. “It’s you helping you,” says Carol Bailey Floyd, WRAP’s Director of Programs and a WRAP trainer. “You’re the expert on yourself.”

WRAP works, she says, because it’s all written down for you. Solutions are there when you need them. She says she’s seen people make remarkable progress using the system. Complete instructions and examples for creating your own WRAP system can be found in the book or at Mental Health Recovery and WRAP. The organization offers training for mental health professionals and assistance with setting up a WRAP program in organizations through the Copeland Center.

Books

Wellness Recovery Action Plan by Mary Ellen Copeland and The Depression Workbook: A Guide for Living with Depression and Manic Depression, Second Edition by Mary Ellen Copeland, Matthew McKay.

Light Therapy for sleep disturbances and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Dragging with fatigue by early evening?

Can't summon the energy to climb out of bed in the morning?

Whether you have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or sleep disturbances caused by stress, a mood disorder or medications, you can use light to help regulate your circadian rhythms, or body clock, so that you can rise more easily and avoid late-afternoon and evening fatigue. Light produces hormones and neurotransmitters that affect our and well being.

Exposure to bright light should be set to create a daylight simulation as many minutes before it is naturally bright outside as you want to advance your rising time.This can program your body to feel ready to get out of bed when it's time. That same exposure for two to three hours in the early evening can convince your body that it's not yet bedtime and that it needs to stay awake a while longer. A few manufacturers market special sunlamps specifically for this purpose, at prices ranging from $200-300. But you can fashion your own for a much smaller cost that will work just as efficiently.

Dr. Robert Ruegg, a psychiatrist at Exempla West Pines Hospital, Wheat Ridge, Colorado, suggests converting an outdoor floodlight for use indoors. He has recommended to his patients a lamp made by Lights of America that outputs 4,500 lumens (He recommends a min of 2500 lux for efficient treatment. Lighting a larger area with the same number of lux requires a larger number of lumens.) The light is also available at many large home improvement centers. This light is priced at well under $50, but you will have to convert the wiring to enable it to be plugged into a socket. Here are instructions you can use for wiring it. Maintain mental wellness with a plan that works