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NLN Invited to Share Experience of WRAP Mental Health Programme at US Conference

22 January 2013

Two National Learning Network (NLN) staff members have been invited to a prestigious international conference in the United States to present their experience of using the WRAP mental health programme to support people in NLN’s 50 training centres across Ireland. The conference, WRAP Around the World, in Oakland, California, from January 25 to 27, is organised by the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery. It will feature a presentation from Margaret Wallace and Paula Hurley on how other large organisations might learn from the NLN experience. The conference brings together people with mental health difficulties, peer specialists, professionals, and supporters from all over the world with the aim of sharing information about wellness and recovery skills and strategies.

WRAP, or Wellness Recovery Action Plan, is a self-management and recovery system developed by a group of people who had mental health difficulties and who were struggling to incorporate wellness tools and strategies into their lives. It aims to decrease and prevent intrusive or troubling feelings and behaviours, increase personal empowerment, improve quality of life and assist people in achieving their own life goals and dreams. WRAP also provides a structured system for monitoring uncomfortable and distressing feelings and behaviours and, through planned responses, reduces, modifies, or eliminates them. It also includes plans for responses from others when people cannot make decisions, take care of themselves, or keep themselves safe. The person who experiences symptoms is the one who develops their personal WRAP, which can be with the help of supporters and health care professionals if they choose.

Programme Provision Set to be Expanded So Others Can Benefit

Margaret Wallace, National Learning Network, comments, “Every year, more than 13,000 people are supported by National Learning Network all over Ireland to achieve their goals. The number of people with mental health difficulties undertaking training with the organisation has been increasing in recent years and so, five years ago, National Learning Network introduced WRAP as part of its response to the mental health strategy A Vision for Change. We place the person at the heart of service delivery, supporting them in tapping into the resources of people in their own immediate social networks and in participating fully in community life.

“We are delighted to be able to share with our international colleagues how best to make WRAP operational and, more importantly, sustainable, in large organisations like our own, where people have diverse and complex needs and where it’s important to deliver value for money services. In particular, we will be focusing on the importance of maintaining the Copeland Center’s values and ethics in implementing the programme in its entirety and in encouraging others to embrace the full WRAP programme without compromise in changing lives for the better. In fact, such has been its success, National Learning Network has plans to extend the availability of the WRAP programme to others in the coming months, in particular young people and those out of work, through ‘Youth WRAP’ and ‘WRAP for the Unemployed’, so that they too can benefit. ”

To date, across National Learning Network, almost 100 people have been trained as WRAP facilitators to help deliver the programme, including the organisation’s first students to be trained in its delivery. National Learning Network has a proud track record of excellence in its service provision, most recently evidenced by its awarding of the coveted European Quality in Social Services Award for all of its services, the first organisation in Europe to gain this recognition.


About National Learning Network
Rehab’s training and employment division, National Learning Network, is an internationally recognised world leader in the provision of high-quality training and specialist support to people who are distant from the labour market. Each year it supports more than 13,000 people in Ireland to achieve their ambitions.

Ireland’s largest non-governmental training organisation, it has over 50 purpose-built training and employment facilities around the country. In partnership with FÁS and the Health Service Executive, National Learning Network offers over 40 different training programmes, which are provided via centres, employers’ workplaces or by blended learning. These programmes carry FETAC accreditation, which is recognised nationally and internationally.

National Learning Network also offers a wide range of accredited one-day continuous professional development courses aimed at up-skilling staff working in the areas of rehabilitation, inclusive education and community settings. These include specific learning difficulties, learning and teaching methodologies, boundary management and mental health.

About Rehab

Rehab is an independent international group of charities and commercial companies which work towards a world where every person has the opportunity to achieve their potential. Through its divisions, RehabCare, National Learning Network and Rehab Enterprises, over 3,500 staff members provide high-quality health and social care, training and education, and rehabilitation, employment and commercial services in Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, the Netherlands and Poland. The people who currently use Rehab’s services include young people and adults with physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities, people with mental health difficulties, people with autism and people with an acquired brain injury. A range of essential services is also provided to older people, carers and others who are marginalised. Every year, more than 80,000 people and their families benefit from the supports provided by Rehab in more than 260 locations. For more information see