Friday 23 May 2014

guest post -The Richmond Fellowship Scotland

Generally when people are anxious we feel fearful and tense, this can also manifest as physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, sickness, shaking or tremors, headaches, sweating and much more.

These physical symptoms are caused in part by the brain sending lots of messages down the nerves to various parts of the body making your heart, lungs and other parts of your body work faster.

Anxiety is normal in stressful situations and can be helpful, when we feel threatened or in danger or even in anticipation of an exam or competition the burst of adrenaline is our bodies response to the situation getting us ready to respond, this is more commonly known as our “fight or flight response”

So when do our levels of anxiety become a problem? Anxiety is abnormal when it is out of proportion to the situation, when the stressful situation has gone and the feelings remain or if the stress is minor and appears for no apparent reason.

The training we deliver is called WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Planning).  While it was originally developed by people who had been dealing with severe and enduring mental health illness, it is now widely recognised as a tool for dealing with any aspect of life be that family or work stress, anxiety, a life changing event, bullying, drug or alcohol issues, weight management - in fact just about anything.

WRAP is based on 5 key recovery concepts,

1.       Hope-that people can and do recover and go on to lead fulfilling lives

2.       Personal Responsibility- What can I do for myself to take control be the driver in my own recovery.

3.       Education- what do I know about myself that can enable me to respond better to situations and what more can I learn

4.       Self Advocacy- with this knowledge who do I need to talk to, what do I need to tell others and how can I speak up for myself

5.       Support- who or where can I get the support I need to help me move forward and take control of things in my life.

People go on to develop a wellness toolbox which is the resources we all have in order to keep our lives on an even keel, when you are unwell or not coping well it’s easy to forget the things we need to do to keep ourselves well, this acts as a reminder.

After doing this people then develop a WRAP plan which is a evidence based format that works really well for people in developing action plans to deal with feelings and circumstances in their lives.

I have worked with a few people who live with high levels of anxiety and they have said that after doing WRAP it enabled them to gain a better insight into themselves to recognise what triggers certain feelings and emotions and in turn develop action plans and strategies to help counteract these feelings. WRAP is NOT a cure, it is a way of life - it’s simple and effective and gives people a sense of control that often is lost when dealing with any form of challenge in our lives.

Roz Anderson (Team Manager in West Fife) is only one of four Advanced Level Facilitators in Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) operating within Scotland.

Uniquely Roz is the only Advanced Level Practitioner working within a Community Care organisation or Mental Health organisation in Scotland. This profiles The Richmond Fellowship Scotland’s expertise within recovery. The Richmond Fellowship Scotland supports WRAP by being able to deploy some 25 fully trained WRAP facilitators throughout its services in Scotland.

To find out more about The Richmond Fellowship Scotland, please visit our website:

To fund out more about WRAP please visit

I would like to say a massive thank you to the staff at The Richmond Fellowship Scotland for their wonderful guest post. I would also like to thank them for the wonderful work that they do.

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