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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness
Work and mental health

Developing a Wellness and Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)

Managing your mental health in the workplace

One approach to managing a health condition, which at times gets better and at at times gets worse, is to make a Wellness and Recovery Action Plan (WRAP).  It will help you to be clear about:

  • how to keep well at work
  • signs that you are getting unwell again
  • triggers that make you unwell
  • what to do if you get unwell
  • how to get back on track after you have been unwell.

Some organisations, like Rethink and the Employers’ Forum on Disability, support the idea that all staff, whether they have a mental health problem or not, would benefit from developing a WRAP. This would be one way of reducing the stigma attached to mental ill-health.  


Links to resources:

Realising ambitions: Better employment support for people with a mental health condition

Rachel Perkins, Paul Farmer and Paul Litchfield

Department for Work and Pensions, December 2009

This review was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to look at mental health and employment and to identify how Government could help people with mental health conditions fulfil their employment ambitions.  Appendix 6 includes suggestions for what a WRAP for work might contain.  The review also includes an example of the strategies that some people have found effective in managing their mental health condition at work. 


Rethink - What's reasonable at work?  

This booklet includes how to develop a WRAP including 6 key sections

Daily maintenance plan, triggers, early warning signs, when things are breaking down, crisis plan and towards recovery. Appendix A of the report includes an example of a WRAP developed by a former member of Rethink staff.


Feeling stressed: Keeping well

This workbook is available through the Mindful Employer initiative.  It is based on elements of the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) originally developed by Mary Ellen Copeland and a group of mental health service users who wanted to work on their own recovery. It is a practical tool to help people with mental health problems to gain more control over problems or difficulties you may encounter as a result of stress caused by workload, relationships with colleagues, outside work pressures or other issues.


Surviving and thriving at work
 is a suite of toolkits, training, and advice from Radar (Royal Association of Disability Rights) which offer an easy framework for surviving and thriving at work.