I started with WRAP ten years ago. My community mental health provider had it as a class. No one had ever told me I could make a plan to help me stay well or about things I could do to help myself when things start breaking down. At first I had a hard time coming up with any positive statements about myself. The other group members had to tell me what was positive about myself.
The only things that I knew that really helped was to have a dog with me and use music. I was glad we had got started. Then we lost out trainer due to illness.
They didn’t have a good replacement so I had to find a new place to get it done. I ended up doing my WRAP plan individually. It took me twelve weeks of meeting with the new trainer to complete that first plan.
In my first plan I ended up including things like using the dog, using music to help change my mood, reading, baking bread from scratch, swinging on swing sets, gardening, taking medication properly, and support groups as a daily plan.
My plan for days that were starting to break down included adding more phone calls, telling someone I was having a difficult day, trying to eat mini meals four times a day, going to an extra support group meeting, going to a state park, and hiking.
My plan for things really getting bad was requesting an appointment with my doctor to adjust medicine, calling my dad, keeping the dog extra close and my plan and included key words, “not actionable”, so supports would know if I still had enough control of myself to be treated at home. It also included what word, “actionable”, meant I could not contact to keep myself safe and needed to go to a hospital for help. It also included how I was to get to a hospital, what would make things worse and contacting my dad who had keys to my place and knew what would need to be done for me such getting the rent paid, caring for my dog, visiting me and notifications to volunteer work that I would be out for a bit.
That first plan helped, but two years later I re-took the training, in a group, to help me update my WRAP plan. Due to physical issues hiking had to come off and I also made some additions such as making things with leather. I did my first medical and psychiatric forms so there would be a record of my health care decisions.
Four years later I repeated the training once more with a new group of people. My dad had died and my physical health had gotten to be more challenging, I now used a service dog full time, some of my medical decisions had changed, I am not willing to retry any of the almost thirty medicines that I have reacted to. The people I want to be there for me had changed, I listed to people who are not to have any input into my care and a hospital I am not to be admitted to and I had moved again so it was time to redo my WRAP plan. Since then I sit alone one more time.
I now have several limiting medical issues so current plan includes music, reading, necessary medications, church, phone calls, tv, cards, support groups, cooking, service dog, window shopping, and using technology/media to help me stay connected to other people and several ways to test my ability to function in a positive way.
Since I started using WRAP plans, I spend a lot less time in crisis. When things are breaking down, I know what to do to help myself. When crisis happens, I usually can get myself to a hospital for professional help. This is true of both my mental health and my physical health. I use WRAP for both. I strongly encourage WRAP plans, not just for mental health but also for physical health self care.