THE start of a new year brings a time in which we look to creating resolutions on how to better ourselves physically, but at times we neglect our mental and emotional state.

In addition to starting a membership at one of the local gyms, we may need to seek services related to our behavioral health. Behavioral health includes not only ways of promoting well-being by preventing or intervening in mental illness such as depression or anxiety, but also has as an aim preventing or intervening in substance abuse or other addictions. Behavioral health looks not only at prevention and treatment for our mental health and/or substance abuse addictions, it also provides us with the supports we need in Recovery for our conditions.

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan or WRAP is a self-designed prevention and wellness process that anyone can use to get well, stay well, and make his or her life the way they want it to be. It was developed in 1997 by a group of people who were searching for ways to overcome their own mental health issues and move on to fulfilling their life dreams and goals. It is now used extensively by people in all kinds of circumstances and by health care and mental health systems all over the world to address all kinds of physical, mental health and life issues.

Consumer Oriented Services, or Peer Support as it may be known, are run by people who have personal experience living with a psychiatric diagnosis and/or a substance abuse disorder. They understand how it can affect every aspect of living, including one’s hopes for the future. Consumer-operated leaders and members are living proof that people can and do recover. Consumer-operated services have a different approach to “helping” than traditional mental health services. They emphasize growth and well-being, self-help, and personal choice and responsibility. Members discover that helping others is often a way of helping oneself.

The Northern Marianas Protection & Advocacy Systems Inc., in collaboration with the Council on Developmental Disabilities and PEERLINK National Technical Assistance Center, will be hosting a Wellness Recovery Action Plan Seminar and a Peer Support Worker Training from Jan. 31 to Feb. 10, 2017. The WRAP Seminar will be held from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3, 2017, at the multi-purpose center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and the Peer Support Worker Training will be held from Feb. 6 to10, 2017 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the venue is to be determined. Interested individuals must meet the following criteria in order to participate in the Peer Support Training:

• Individuals must be age 18 or older with a diagnosis of a mental illness or a substance abuse history and current or prior use of behavioral health services and have a desire to use her or his experiences to help others with their recovery and wellness.

• Individuals must be willing to publicly identify as a person living with a mental illness or substance abuse history in order to model the reality of recovery and wellness.

• Individuals must be a high school graduate, have completed a G.E.D, or equivalent.

There is no cost to attend. If you would to request an application to participate in these trainings, please contact NMPASI at 235-7273/4.

Deadline to submit an application for the training events is January 9, 2017, at 5 p.m.

For more information about Consumer Oriented Services and Peer Support, please visit www.samhsa.gov; for more on WRAP, please visit mentalhealthrecovery.com or contact NMPASI at 235-7273/4.