News /PEERS hosts inaugural WRAP for Health Conference with Mary Ellen Copeland
In partnership with Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services, PEERS hosted the inaugural WRAP for Health Conference on May 1, featuring keynote speaker, Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD, author of the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP). The conference, which was held at California State University, East Bay, featured talks from leaders in the mental health field and multiple educational workshops.
Attendees learned how WRAP can improve the health outcomes for individuals in all care settings. WRAP is an evidence-based tool used worldwide by people who are dealing with mental or general health challenges and by those who want to attain the highest possible level of wellness.
The day started with a live music performance by Purchased, an Alameda County-based vocal group focusing on uplifting and inspiring songs.
PEERS Executive Director Khatera Aslami opened with remarks reflecting the importance of WRAP as well as kicking off Mental Health Awareness Month.
"On this first day of Mental Health Awareness Month, it's only appropriate for us to gather to discuss the importance of health and mental health, and how both contribute to our overall well-being," Aslami said. "We want you to leave motivated and equipped with knowledge with how WRAP can support you in your wellness."
Eduardo Vega, Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of San Francisco and Commissioner of the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, believes the power of WRAP lies in the balance between self-directed recovery and community support.
"What has impressed me about WRAP is that it is about building tools for yourself, but also recognizes that many of those tools are the connections we have with other people," Vega said. "We have tremendous power in and of ourselves; we have resources to preserve and maintain our own wellness. Sometimes that's hard and we shouldn't pretend like that's always an easy journey. But we also have a community and each other."
Matthew Federici, Executive Director of The Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery, noted that partnering with PEERS on the WRAP for Health Conference is a coming-of-age event in the mental health system.
"Since the Copeland Center's founding by Mary Ellen Copeland, we have been about promoting people as the experts in their own lives and how people hold the keys to their whole health," Federici said. "We need more collaborations with programs like PEERS in our community to turn the tide toward people's potential for self-direction and healing and away from fragmented health care and dependency based health solutions."
Mary Ellen Copeland received applause to a welcoming crowd as she discussed how WRAP's methodology is empowering many individuals and increasing wellness throughout the world.
"WRAP is evidence-based," Copeland said. "We have more research now on WRAP than they have on most medications being put out. We know that WRAP gives people hope. And [WRAP] is now listed on the National Registry of Evidence-Based Practices after five years of working at the federal level."
In addition to keynote remarks, the conference featured eight workshops on varied topics including:
- Organizational WRAP
- WRAP and Health in the Latino Community
- UELP: A Multicultural Panel
- Transitional Age Youth Health
- Authentic Inclusion: Creating Welcoming Communities
- Lift Every Voice and Speak (PEERS Speakers Bureau)
- 10x10 Wellness for Alameda County
- Cambodian Women Group's Urban Garden and Thai Parenting Group: A space for health and wellness
For additional coverage on the conference, be sure to check out:
- WRAP for Health Conference Highlights video (full presentation coming soon)
- Photos on the PEERS Facebook page
- "Mental Health and Wellness Radio" show on the 10x10 Campaign
Stay tuned for the International WRAP Around The World Conference at the Oakland Marriot from Jan. 25-27, 2013.