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Coming Back to Self

Ryan recently made a life-changing goal: to get out of the house, once a day. It seems like such a small, simple thing but for Ryan, it has made an enormous difference in his mental wellness. He walks to and from work and gets outside every day. He set this goal – and others – because of his participation in a program called WRAP®: Wellness Recovery Action Plan®.

WRAP is a program that facilitates the design of a personal prevention and wellness process, helping the individual get well and stay well. It helps participants identify their triggers, discover their own wellness tools, develop a list of daily things to do that encourage wellness, and create both a crisis and post-crisis plan.

Before he discovered WRAP, Ryan, who is diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, had spiraled into depression and drug addiction.

Ryan Shaw uses tools from WRAP to maintain his mental health
Ryan says WRAP helped him get his life back

“The addiction aggravated my mental illness and I ended up in hospital,” Ryan explains.

As soon as I got out, I got into WRAP. I’ve used my WRAP tools every day since. – Ryan, WRAP participant

Communitas Supportive Care Society offers WRAP throughout the year. Ryan was able to participate when Communitas offered it at the Cheamview Clubhouse in Chilliwack, a clubhouse that supports people on their journey towards mental wellness. Jennifer Gagne was one of the Communitas staff who delivered the course. She has personally benefited from WRAP and has seen how it makes a difference in the lives of others. Jennifer says that the opportunity to design something specifically for herself – like a Daily Maintenance Plan – helps her to notice when she’s strayed from her personal wellness plan and helps her get back on track.

Jennifer has personally benefited from WRAP and is now a WRAP facilitator

“WRAP is effective because it is one more tool in our wellness toolbox to help us cope with difficult challenges we all face,” she says. “I’ve heard others share how ideas they learned in a WRAP workshop taught them new ways to take a more active role in improving their wellness and quality of life. They feel more empowered to handle things in situations where they previously felt powerless.”

When Ryan breaks down, he knows now that it’s only temporary and that he’s got tools to get him back on track. Just like Jennifer, Ryan has created a Daily Maintenance Plan that includes getting out of the house as well as connecting with people close to him every day.

“I make sure I text someone from my family at least once a day, every day,” he says.

Ryan’s mom has been his main support and helped him create his WRAP plan. Ryan says the program taught him so much about himself that he recommends this program to anyone looking for a tool that will help them in their own journey.

“It helped me get my life back,” Ryan says. “WRAP brought me back to the person I used to be. It’s the most important tool in my recovery.”

Communitas has received funding from Bell Let’s Talk to offer WRAP and Peer Support to people in community who are not currently receiving services from Fraser Health. To find out how you can access these valuable resources contact Brian Kroeker at 604 840 6608 or email


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