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Recovery Education Workshops in the Community Support Program

The Sunrise Recovery Center is a Community Support Program that has a rich and long-standing history of supporting clients in realizing their full potential.  The focus of support at “Sunrise” is on employment, wellness, and recovery.  One of the ways in which Sunrise has been promoting the practice of recovery amongst staff, clients, and community members is through the offering of Recovery Education Workshops twice per year since the fall of 1998.

Based on the principles developed by Mary Ellen Copeland, the goal of these workshops is teaching participants how to develop a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP). The WRAP was initially developed to help manage the symptoms associated with mental illness, however a WRAP can be individualized to be effective in a number of different situations. WRAPs have been successfully used to manage symptoms related to medical issues, management of weight, smoking cessation and to support those who are challenged with addiction issues.  A WRAP helps individuals organize their lives and maintain a daily routine that helps to promote wellness.  The graph below demonstrates that almost all people who participate in the workshop series find the results beneficial.sunrise recover education

More specifically, a WRAP consists of developing a wellness toolbox that consists of a list of things that have worked in the past, or by trying tools that may have worked for others.  Other parts of a WRAP include: identifying triggers & early warning signs, recognizing when things are breaking down, developing a crisis and post-crisis plan, and identification of how and when to access supports .  The WRAP also provides a daily schedule or plan that helps identify and manage the triggers & early warning signs, hopefully before getting to the stage of “when things are breaking down”.

The Recovery Education Workshop facilitators consist of staff, clients and community members who are trained at the Copeland Center in Southern Vermont.  The workshop sessions are two hours and they run for eight weeks. These workshops are open to clients, staff and community members. This makes for a rich and diverse experience as each participant brings their own unique perspective.   In addition to developing a WRAP, community resources are also explored and staff from various community agencies come and discuss what they offer.  Individuals also come forward to share their Recovery Stories and this has been one of the more powerful and popular aspect of the workshops.

The Sunrise Recovery Center staff are also available outside of the workshops to Community Support Program clients and staff to help them develop new WRAPS or update existing WRAPS.  

The next Recovery Education Workshop series will begin on Tuesday, September 13th from 9:30-11:30am at 9 Heaton Street in Montpelier and will run for eight weeks.  If you are interested in attending, contact Linda Pomerleau at 223-6328. There is no cost for this workshop series.


Written August 2016

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