Collectively we can start to feel the shift.

A few days before our August WRAP Seminar II in Eureka, I was working on finalizing some last-minute arrangements with the Jefferson Center, who hosted us. I experienced some nervous-stream-of-consciousness-type thoughts about the upcoming week such as, “It’s my first time mentoring as an Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator (ALWF) and BJ North and Jane Winterling from the Copeland Center will be watching me.” Of course, everything worked out well and the Jefferson Center was wonderful and the staff gracious and accommodating.

Day One of the Seminar, Jane Winterling said something amazing in response to a question posed to each participant about their hope for the training, she said, “You know when a WRAP Seminar is successful because the participants come together and make the magic of WRAP happen.”

What I’ve found with WRAP seminars is that it’s very difficult to hide from the demand that wellness makes. Being immersed in a setting where we’re all talking about how we will support ourselves each day really doesn’t allow us to ignore internal questions and long held beliefs about wellness. For me, these questions are, “How do I not judge myself for prioritizing my wellness? What do I do to keep myself well? Where in my life am I denying my wellness?” Answers to these questions involve holding up my “WRAP mirror” and realizing that wellness isn’t something I’ll kick back and do when I get the time, but something that I must continually take personal responsibility for.

During that seminar, I watched some of my peers experiencing similar reflections about the foundations of their wellness, and I really saw some magic happen. Individuals opened up to their own vulnerabilities. Participants who had personal-life challenges arise, took hold of those challenges and prioritized their wellness in the midst of the difficulty, affording themselves a view of the problem from the perspective of their unique action plans. It was amazing and humbling to observe.

Participants celebrating their completion of Crestwood’s WRAP Seminar II in Eureka.

Our Crestwood Eureka staff returned with an enthusiasm and commitment to working toward a campus culture of wellness. I hear the language of hope and recovery becoming more common on the campus every day. Wellness connections are becoming part of shift change. We had our first Organizational Wellness Landscape (OWL) gathering for wellness support for staff this past September. We also have two facilitators in the community coming to be a part of our WRAP meetings and groups.

At Crestwood, our personal practice of wellness directly serves as the model of wellness and recovery to those we serve. We have been presented with the OWL Project as a challenge for us to take responsibility for wellness at the campus level, with a built-in platform of support. Part of this support is the ALWF training offered to each campus. As an ALWF, both the commitment to personal and campus wellness and the OWL Project grows. And as a result, change for the better does happen, with ourselves, our staff, those we serve, and our communities.

It’s inspiring to watch, and it is an honor to be a part of the Crestwood family, as we hold hope and model recovery to those we serve every day.

Contributed by: Theresa Sorensen, Director of Staff Development, ALWF Eureka Campus