Mary Ellen Copeland PhD is the owner of WRAP and Recovery Books, and founder of the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery. She is nationally and internationally recognized for her work in studying how people can recover from mental health challenges using simple, safe, non-invasive, widely available and usually free self-help resources. She began these studies in 1988 in her efforts to find acceptable answers to her own mental health issues. In 1997 she worked with a group of people with lived experience to develop the well known, widely used and now evidence-based Wellness Recovery Action Plan or WRAP.
Her focus is on shifting the system of mental health care away from the use of psychotropic medications and harsh traumatizing treatments, and to personal empowerment, self-help, prevention and recovery through natural supports, education, training, and research. She wishes that every person who has mental health issues would use simple, safe, non-invasive self-help tools to help themselves feel better and stay well. And she wishes that psychiatrists, health care workers and mental health facilities would assist people in using these tools instead of taking away their hope and insisting on harsh invasive treatments. In 2009 she was the recipient of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s “Voices Award” for lifetime achievement.
October 26, 2012
People don’t understand that when they reach out for help for themselves or someone they care about, it can have threatening and lifelong consequences. If we ask for help, we risk being given a diagnosis that will stay with us the rest our life, that will limit what we can do, that will limit our relationships and activities, that may cause us to be very poor, to be ostracized and even homeless. We risk being “locked up” for years and years and years.
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April 21, 2012
I am deeply concerned that so many people reach out for help with mental health challenges and end up getting harsh treatment that is less than helpful and often harmful. I wish more of them knew about WRAP. And I wish that WRAP was a starting place for people on the journey to wellness, something they would be introduced to when they first reach out for help, rather than something they discover after they have experienced a lot of hardship and pain. In this article I have described the development process that we used to develop the Wellness Recovery Action Plan. In Part 2 I will describe the Values and eThics that have evolved around WRAP.
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March 21, 2012
I first wrote this story of my mother back in 2000, six years after her death. I share it today as my first entry on this important blog, in the hope that people will see that there is another way. In future entries I want to share with you why I don’t believe in mental illness and the use of psychotropic medications, and how I believe people who are experiencing emotional distress can get well, stay well, and live the lives they want to live.
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