• Biography

Mary Ellen Copeland is an American author, mental health advocate, and professor. She is best known for her work in developing the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), a self-help program for people with mental health issues. She has written numerous books on the subject, including the best-selling WRAP: Wellness Recovery Action Plan.

Early Life

Mary Ellen Copeland was born in 1950 in New York City. She grew up in a family of seven children and was the oldest. Her parents were both teachers and instilled in her a strong work ethic and a passion for learning. She attended the University of Rochester, where she earned a bachelor's degree in psychology.

Advocacy and Writing

After college, Copeland began working as a mental health advocate. She was a strong advocate for the rights of people with mental health issues and worked to ensure that they had access to the resources they needed. She also wrote extensively on the subject, publishing her first book, Mental Health Recovery: A Guide to Hope and Empowerment, in 1995.

In 1997, Copeland developed the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), a self-help program for people with mental health issues. The program was designed to help people take control of their own mental health and develop strategies for managing their symptoms. The program has been widely adopted and is now used in many countries around the world.

In addition to her work on WRAP, Copeland has written numerous books on mental health, including The Depression Workbook, The Anxiety Workbook, and The Bipolar Workbook. She has also written several books on self-help and recovery, including The Self-Help Guide to Managing Depression and The Self-Help Guide to Overcoming Anxiety.


Mary Ellen Copeland has had a lasting impact on the field of mental health. Her work on WRAP has helped countless people take control of their own mental health and develop strategies for managing their symptoms. Her books have also been instrumental in helping people understand and manage their mental health issues.

Copeland has been recognized for her work with numerous awards, including the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Exemplary Leadership Award and the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare's Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also been inducted into the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Hall of Fame.

Today, Copeland continues to work as an advocate for mental health and is a professor at the University of Vermont. She is also the founder and president of the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery, which provides resources and support for people with mental health issues.

Date modified: Apr 8, 2023
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