Wellness recovery action plans (WRAP)
People with MH issues may find it helpful to complete a wellness recovery action plan or similar. This is a detailed plan about how to stay as well as possible. It includes treatment they would prefer during relapses and other relevant self-management information. This plan often includes recognising the need to sleep and eat regularly, and avoid triggers such as
alcohol or other drugs.
People who develop and sustain strong strategies to maintain their wellness may succeed in reducing (rarely, even giving up) their medication, but may need occasional higher doses at times. This progress requires great self discipline by sticking to a very ordered, quiet life, being constantly aware of their mood and behaviour. But even if this stress free life is never achieved anything that may reduce the number of distressing relapses, or the amount of medication needed, is definitely worth investing time in.
You and the cared-for person need to become expert on the details of your unique situation. Carers can be a real help in feeding back and discussing issues, “I don’t know if you have noticed, but every time you stay up all night on the computer you have two or three bad days afterwards? Is there a way of working around this?”
There are also WRAP plans for Carers, planning to keep well both mentally
and physically, especially under pressure. If you want the service user
to plan to look after themselves then it can’t hurt to set an example!
A shortened version is included on the ‘Carers’ WRAP plans’. The local Carers Centre will also have details.
Peer support workers
There can be an opportunity to work with a peer support worker who has lived experience of MH issues themselves and can offer support to improve self-management skills. Sometimes Carers can be ‘too close’ to be involved in this highly personal process. Someone who has been through it themselves is in a good place to help and can have a really positive