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.