WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) workshops are free, and Abby Levinshon will be co-facilitating a workshop starting on September 4, 2014. To register, click here, call 847-5468, or email selfmanagement@vtmednet.org.

Robyn Skiff, MS, is a program coordinator for Medical Home Self-Management with the UVM Medical Center’s Community Health Improvement office.

Robyn Skiff, MS, is a program coordinator for Medical Home Self-Management with the UVM Medical Center’s Community Health Improvement office.

Do you have a plan for when life starts to spin in a difficult direction?

Maybe you feel as though you have barriers in life that you just cannot overcome no matter how hard you try. Maybe events like family friction, work stress, or the anniversary date of a loss or trauma trigger a slide toward worsening health and leave you struggling to stay on track.  Or, you might be experiencing sadness or addiction, or be trying to adjust to a future living with a chronic illness.

If this describes you or someone you care about, you should know that The Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) can help.

WRAP has at its core the key concepts of hope, personal responsibility, education, self-advocacy and support. WRAP is a self-designed plan for staying well, and for helping you feel better when you are not feeling well.

During a free WRAP workshop led by trained facilitators, both of whom use a WRAP plan themselves, you are assisted in creating a personalized pro-active plan that keeps you in control even when it seems like things are out of control

“WRAP has taught me that I could feel more in control and less of a victim. Creating a plan that is proactive has allowed me to reduce my fear and anxiety in situations. It is a constant reminder that I do have power over my life and situations and I can make changes,” says George Nostrand, an Advanced-Level WRAP workshop facilitator.

While originally designed for and by people with mental health challenges, WRAP has proven successful in helping people with all kinds of chronic illness, and in helping veterans, families, people with addiction, and people in the process of making life changes.

Starting with looking at what you are like when you are well, the workshop looks at your daily plans, things that might throw you off or upset you (triggers), early warning signs and when things are breaking down. Then, using your Wellness Tool Box, you develop specific plans of action for addressing these issues if they occur in the future.

People in WRAP workshops often learn that they have many of the tools they need to survive and improve their lives,” says Nostrand. “The plan allows them to put this together in an organized way so that when things aren’t going well they can go to their plan and put into practice what they have learned about themselves”.

Developed in Vermont, WRAP has been studied by researchers who are well known and respected for their mental health research, and shown to help people experience greater levels of wellness and to move forward with recovery. For more information about this research click here.

WRAP is about “de-stigmatizing trauma and being able to admit or let go of some really hard things, a place where people feel they can identify with others. We are all dealing with very different challenges and WRAP helps us manage and confront those challenges in a personalized way,” adds Abby Levinsohn, WRAP workshop facilitator.

The idea of attending a group class can cause uncertainty for some, yet, “the workshop experience is a magical one,” says Nostrand. “Initially people are nervous and really hesitant, but they quickly connect and bond as they realize that we are all more similar than different.”

WRAP workshops are free, and Abby Levinshon will be co-facilitating a workshop starting on September 4, 2014. To register, click here, call 847-5468, or email selfmanagement@vtmednet.org.

For more information about all of our free evidence-based self-management, please call 802-847-2278.

Our other programs include the Healthier Living workshop series for adults living with diabetes, pain, and other chronic conditions; “A Matter of Balance” workshop series designed for older adults concerned about falling; and Tobacco Cessation Group Support.

Robyn Skiff, MS, is a program coordinator for Medical Home Self-Management with the UVM Medical Center’s Community Health Improvement office.

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