Levels of WRAP Education

Illinois Department of Human Services
Division of Mental Health

There are several opportunities for learning about and becoming involved with Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) in Illinois. After several individuals had attended the first ever WRAP event, a 1.5 day seminar in August 2002, agencies mistakenly believed those individuals were qualified to facilitate WRAP classes at the agency. It was evident that an outline of the levels of education was necessary. The following narrative is offered as a description of the chart also entitled "Levels of WRAP Education."

Attending a WRAP seminar, for example, can be considered analogous to attending biology class. If one is to be qualified to conduct surgery, more education is needed! Please read on...

Level 1:  Seminar/Introduction to Wrap/Orientation to Wrap & Recovery

Many seminars are offered across the state to offer an introduction to the basic concepts of recovery education and to overview the components of a WRAP plan. These seminars may be anywhere from one hour to 1.5 days in length, dependent upon the setting in which they are being offered. This is an ideal opportunity for people who are interested in WRAP for their own lives, or those who are interested in implementing WRAP in their programs, to learn the WRAP basics.

Once a person has attended one of these seminars, they will be qualified to develop a WRAP plan, work with another individual who is developing a WRAP plan, attend a WRAP class, and tell others about WRAP.

Level 2:  8 Week/12 Week Wrap Class*

WRAP Classes are being held in many locations across the state, including community mental health centers and state and community hospital inpatient units. These classes are conducted by Certified WRAP Facilitators and are either 8 weeks or 12 weeks in duration. Each individual session is typically 1.5 - 2 hours long. These classes are designed to be open to any individual who is interested in recovery and who desires to develop a personal WRAP plan. The program is simple and safe for anyone, regardless of the severity of their symptoms.

Once a person has completed all of the sessions in a WRAP Class, they will be qualified to become a 'buddy' to someone else who is working on their own personal WRAP. This is similar to being a sponsor in a 12-step program. The individual would also be qualified to be considered to become a trainee. This process is called 'shadowing' a certified WRAP Facilitator, and may lead to a person developing the skills to become a facilitator. Lastly, the individual may also wish to apply to attend the 40-hour WRAP Facilitator's Training course, held bi-annually.

Level 3:  Shadowing a Certified Facilitator

It is recommended that persons desiring to become certified facilitators participate as a 'shadow' in at least one WRAP Class (8 or 12 week series) with a certified facilitator. In order to become a facilitator trainee, an individual must have completed a series of WRAP classes, written their own WRAP plan, and received the recommendation of the facilitator.

After participating as a Shadow, an individual is qualified to co-lead seminars with another certified facilitator. The individual may also wish to apply to attend the 40-hour WRAP Facilitator's Training course, held bi-annually.

Level 4:  Wrap Facilitator's Training

A 40-hour WRAP Facilitator's Training course is held bi-annually in Illinois. The spring course is held in the Chicago area. The fall course is held in central Illinois. Any individual who has attended a WRAP seminar or completed WRAP classes AND who has written a personal WRAP plan is eligible to apply to attend the 40-hour WRAP Facilitator's Training course. Although the training spaces are limited, all interested and eligible persons are encouraged to apply.

Upon successful completion of the facilitator's training course, an individual becomes certified and is qualified to facilitate WRAP classes. It is recommended that facilitators work in pairs, either with another certified facilitator or with a trainee. Certified Facilitators are also qualified to conduct WRAP seminars and participate in strategic planning teams for WRAP implementation. Additionally, all certified facilitators are eligible to apply to 'shadow' at a future facilitator's training event, in order to further develop facilitation skills and to become a recovery educator/trainer.

Level 5:  Shadowing a Facilitator's Training Event

Each WRAP Facilitator's Training course is conducted by four highly qualified recovery educators and four 'Shadows.' Recovery Educators are persons who have completed all five levels of WRAP education, are experienced facilitators and have consistently demonstrated the values and ethics of WRAP. Shadows are persons who have completed the facilitator's training course, provided WRAP presentations, facilitated WRAP classes and are recommended by other Recovery Educators.

An individual who successfully completes the shadowing experience would then become eligible to be considered as trainer for a future facilitator's training event. These individuals also provide coaching for other WRAP facilitators and provide technical assistance for agencies who are implementing WRAP.

* Class: The term class is preferred over the term 'group' in reference to WRAP. This helps to bring distinction to WRAP as an educational process, not therapy.