In July three members of the Travelling to Wellbeing team and a Social Worker for the family support team in Exchange House took part in Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) training.
This was developed by Mary Ellen Copeland in 1989 in America and looks at how to prevent and recover from mental ill-health. This fits extremely well with the approach of both the Travelling to Wellbeing Project and Exchange House in addressing mental health in the Traveller population that they support.
This training was kindly facilitated by Rainbow Clubhouse in Cherry Orchard Hospital where some of those who attend the service both facilitated and participated in the training. This is the unique aspect of WRAP training where the individual experiences of everyone in the group are valued. WRAP training is always delivered with a mixture of both professionals and people with lived experiences of mental ill-health. This allows for a very practical and insightful way of learning how to create your own WRAP plan and how to support others to create their own individual WRAP plan.
This two day training resulted in everyone making new friends and provided us, the staff of Exchange House with insight into the five key elements of a Wellness Recovery Action Plan; Hope, Personal Responsibility, Self-Advocacy, Education and Support. It is now possible for staff to provide Travellers accessing the services of the Travelling to Wellbeing project in Exchange House, Offaly Traveller Movement and Travellers of North Cork with support to create their own individual plans with the aim of keeping themselves well and allowing them to take control over their own mental health.
The ability to provide this service on a national basis in Offaly, Cork and Dublin ensures that Travellers accessing these services will be able to create their own culturally appropriate plans to protect and sustain their mental health.
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