WRAP: A local peer support group for mental illness

WRAP meets 4–5 p.m. Wednesdays in Moscow’s 1912 Center



WRAP is a resource for everyone.

ANGEL IKUEZE, Evergreen reporter

Editor’s note: This piece has been updated on April 4, 2023, to include more information about WRAP.

Wellness, Recovery, Action, Planning.

That is what WRAP, a peer support group for mental illness, stands for, WRAP facilitator Sharlisa Davis said. Sponsored by the Latah Alliance on Mental Illness (LAMI) and the Palouse Advocates on Mental Illness (PAMI), WRAP meets 4–5 p.m. Wednesdays in the Fellowship Hall at the 1912 Center in Moscow.

WRAP is a free program that is open to everyone, Davis said, including people struggling with mental illness and the people in their lives, such as their family, friends and caregivers. WRAP is also open to people with any type of mental illness, she said.

Some of WRAP’s meetings involve guiding members on how to develop a wellness toolbox, develop a daily plan or maintenance plan, recognize their triggers and develop an action plan for their illnesses, Davis said.

“The purpose of WRAP is that it gives the person a way to improve their quality of life,” Davis, who herself was diagnosed with chronic severe depression, said.

Facilitators help members in understanding what would be helpful for them in terms of their illness, Davis said. Facilitators also teach members how to advocate for themselves to their doctors, families and caregivers to find out what is best for them in their treatment.

The focus of each meeting centers on the needs of the people attending, Davis said.

“When I do find out what people in the room want, I’ll go to that lesson,” Davis said.

Davis said that confidentiality, on the part of both facilitators and members, is one of the key values that the group upholds.

One program member, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she joined the program with her son in 2014 and had learned much about managing mental illnesses from the program.

Her son, who has schizophrenia, learned a lot from WRAP and gained a sense of worth from it, she said. The member said the program helped her son a lot in managing life with his illness and socializing with people.

“The emphasis is on people who have illnesses thinking about how they can help themselves, how they can learn about their illnesses and ways to improve their daily living,” the member said.

Davis said she brought WRAP to Moscow in 2014 after she moved from California in 2013.

Mary Ellen Copeland, WRAP founder and mental health author/educator, originally established the WRAP program in 1997 in Northern Vermont.

At the time, women whose husbands declared them mentally ill were put in mental hospitals without their consent, Davis said.

Copeland’s mother was one of these women, Davis said, so Copeland came up with the idea for WRAP. She would eventually publish several books on WRAP, including “Wellness Recovery Action Plan,” “WRAP and Peer Support Handbook” and more.

Davis said there were five key concepts behind the establishment of WRAP: hope, education, support, self-advocacy and personal responsibility.

“Peer support actually supports each other with mental illness,” Davis said.

To register to be a member of the WRAP program, Davis said to email [email protected] or register on LAMI’s website.

Although the WRAP program meets in person in Moscow, David said WRAP offers virtual meetings to people who cannot attend the in-person meetings. Registers can choose the virtual meeting option during the membership registration process, Davis said.