Among the more popular New Year’s resolutions are ones focused on improving one’s health. That usually means signing up for an exercise program, joining a gym or adding physical activities to the daily To Do list. Physical health is not the only health item requiring our attention. These days we know that mental and emotional health issues are extremely common and often ignored, partly because it can be difficult to know where to start.
The Canadian Mental Health Association, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (C.M.H.A. H.K.P.R.) is offering to help get over that initial hurdle. They offer a peer-led group to support people in developing individualized tools and strategies to support their unique wellness goals known as a ‘Wellness Recovery Action Plan’ or WRAP group. Led by trained mental health professionals with real experience, this eight-week program focuses on the recovery principals of hope, personal responsibility, education, self-advocacy, and support. Supported by extensive research, it promises to help reduce anxiety and depression and increase general functioning and well-being. It is now used extensively by people in all kinds of circumstances, and by health care and mental health systems all over the world to address all kinds of physical, mental health and life issues.
Some of the tools developed by program participants include the development of a daily maintenance plan, the identification of their own triggers and early warning signs and the development of action plans for when they sense things are headed in the wrong direction.
According to Carli Mulligan, a Peer Outreach Worker and WRAP facilitator, “connecting with others with similar experiences in an empathic environment is empowering and expands the range of possibilities for self-care.”
The program was developed in 1997 by a group of people who were searching for ways to overcome their own mental health issues and move on to fulfilling their life dreams and goals. It gives the individual a sense of control as they design their own prevention and wellness process to help them get well, stay well and make their life the way they want it to be using tools that work for them.
This program is for everyone and self-referrals are accepted. The groups are offered in Peterborough, Minden, Lindsay, Omemee, and possibly more locations in the future. To learn more about the program, contact Carli Mulligan at 705-748-6711 extension 2068, or visit www.mentalhealthrecovery.com. KG