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Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD, is an author, educator, mental health advocate, and mental illness survivor. Copeland’s work is based on the study of the coping and wellness strategies of people who have experienced mental health challenges. She is the author and designer of the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), a self-help mental health recovery program.
When Copeland was a child, her mother spent 8 years, from the ages of 37 to 45, in a state mental institution, diagnosed with severe and incurable manic depression. Copeland also was diagnosed[when?] with manic depression and took lithium.[when?]
In 2005, Copeland's work led to the creation of the non-profit, the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery which continues her work through trainings around the world. Copeland created a survey and administered it to 125 volunteers to find out what treatments worked for them.
She continues to study and develop new resources, including a partnership with Essential Learning, e-learning courses that make recovery tools widely available and accessible.
Copeland is the owner of Peach Press which publishes many of her books and other works.
Copeland was awarded the United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association's USPRA John Beard Award for outstanding contributions to the field of psychosocial rehabilitation in 2006. She received Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Lifetime Achievement Voice Award in 2009.