Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)

Being an inpatient in a private hospital for a long time, has meant I've been familiar with their procedures and have lost touch with things that have developed in other services such as the NHS. They have developed a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) and I'm sure other service users reading this will be more than familiar with it but I thought I'd blog about it for those who don't.
So the thinking behind me doing this is obviously that my discharge is planned for December 1st and I have a difficult day coming up so my team need to know what they should do if I were to struggle. A lot of the staff involved in my care haven't known me for very long and the two who have, haven't spoken to me the entire time I was in the specialist hospital, so I guess there's the worry that if I were to struggle no one would be too sure what to do.
Firstly, in the WRAP you have to answer questions which are aimed to help you to develop a toolbox of skills, coping strategies and people that you can use if you struggle. It asks what supports you to stay well, which aspects of your life have the most significance, ideas you could use to see if they do help you, what you are like when you are well and what you must do on a daily basis to maintain this wellness. It then moves on to triggers, asking what can happen to you which would make you struggle or feel unsafe, how you can avoid these things and how you can cope with them when they do occur. You then look at your early warning signs; subtle changes in your thoughts, feelings or behaviours which indicate action should be taken to avoid you struggling, becoming unsafe or unstable. You can specify what you would like to be done if you begin to exhibit such changes and then develop a personal crisis plan;  this includes listing those who you'd want to be contacted and those who you wouldn't, how disagreements between your professionals should be settled and any medication, treatment or facilities that you'd like to avoided should they be necessary. Finally, it asks what others should do for you in a crisis and what wouldn't be helpful and the changes in your thoughts, feelings and behaviours which would signal that you are out of your crisis.
If, you haven't completed a WRAP and after reading this, you'd like to know more or think it would be helpful to your recovery then please ask anyone in your team; whether you are an inpatient or in the community. I, personally, find that forward planning is very reassuring and helpful.