Komala was born in Durban, South Africa and moved to Canada with her family when she was 10 years old. Komala completed her primary school education in High Prairie, Alberta and arrived in Edmonton, Alberta naïve and ready to tackle the big city. Komala graduated as an Occupational Therapist in 1981 from the University of Alberta and feels very fortunate to have found her passion immediately, in the field of mental health.
The other passion Komala found was her future husband Peter. They married in 1983 and have two sons, Kaylan and Jorel and a daughter-in law Deanna. When Komala initially put her idea of a universal WRAP®WORKS program on paper, it was her family whom she sought feedback from first and their input was invaluable!
One of the main reasons that Komala moved forward with her idea is due the most frequent statement she had heard from her clients about wellness strategies and skills was “I wish I had these tools when I was younger/before things started to or actually broke down.”
So, it’s not a surprise to see Komala place her “retired” energy and dedication towards a world renowned, best practice program that is all about disease prevention and health promotion. Itwill be the first time that this program is offered in a universal manner…to anyone who needs it and wants it.
It is a fairly well-known fact that 1 out of 5 people will have a diagnosed mental illness. The majority of mental health resources go to this group. However, Komala’s goal is to help thedecision-makers in both organizations and post-secondary institutions to understand that when the remaining 80% are armed with a practical emotional WELL-BEING and RESILIENCEtoolkit they will be properly armed to self-manage any problem or challenge and will assist to keep them “feeling good “and functioning well.”
SOME testimonials about Komala
"I have had the honour to work with Komala on several projects. She is like no one I have ever worked with. She possesses great vision and leadership skills. She is a leader in the true sense of the word. Komala doesn't just dream big, she makes things happen! She is like the full meal deal. Komala is very genuine and she obviously values and respects the people she works with.
Komala also has great commitment to the overall direction, so there is no wasted time or resources. She keeps things moving forward in the most strength-based way possible. I will always trust Komala unconditionally in whatever ventures we choose to work together on. She has a collaborative spirit, and I fully trust that she both values the vision and the perspective that I bring to the table."
~Jenn Cusick Owner/Operator of Luminate Wellness
" Komala is an innovative leader who worked in partnership with us to develop the Wellness Network. She is a team player who respects the value that all voices bring to the table. As a strong advocate for innovative mental health services.
Komala brings light to an area of health that has been immersed in darkness and stigma for generations."
~Nancy McCalder, MSc RSW, Executive Director,The Support Network
"The Copeland Center's biggest partner in Western Canada has been through the leadership of Komala Pepin. Komala has been a visionary and a community collaborator. She brings the kind of integrity to the Wellness Recovery Action Plan programs and trainings that the Copeland Center is all about and supports the way WRAP Works best."
Mathew Federici, Executive Director, Copeland Center
"I had the pleasure to work for Komala for nine years with Alberta Health Services. We worked together on many initiatives, but our most transformative program by far was the WRAP program. Komala saw the potential for this program to impact individual's lives and knew it had to begin with changing the approach and attitude of the larger addiction and mental health system. She was a champion for WRAP amongst her management peers which facilitated the growth and acceptance of WRAP throughout the system.
Over the next few years WRAP in the Edmonton zone grew. The feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive, with individuals indicating an increased sense of hope, increased sense of control and responsibility for their own recovery. This would not have been possible without Komala's vision and ongoing support. As a leader in the formalized mental health system, Komala was never afraid to take a risk if she believed strongly in the work that was being done.
I am thrilled that WRAP Works will now be available to the general public. Life is stressful for everyone at different times and in different ways, but without a doubt, WRAP Works can help people to begin to recognize their own stressors and therefore live a healthier life. Komala's knowledge and passion for WRAP Works combined with her enthusiasm, energy and business savvy make her the perfect person to bring WRAP Works forward!
I hope that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from WRAP Works!"
~Michelle Knox, Care Manager, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton
"Komala Pepin committed her career to improving people’s mental health. As an Occupational Therapist and subsequently in a Management/Leadership role, Komala created transformative change within the mental health system in Edmonton, by continuing, researching and implementing best practices. More recently this change has been to promote a wellness-based approach to assisting those who struggle with any obstacle or challenge in any aspect of their lives. She has seen firsthand the impact that hope and personal empowerment can have on people’s ability to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. WRAP and WRAP Works are the vehicles that help people on their road to wellness.
Komala has both the passion and the skills to bring WRAP Works to the general population. She is someone who is well able to see the potential in others and has a proven track record of being able to mobilize these human resources to achieve impactful results. She is someone who believes that everyone can live happy successful lives, in spite of illness, stress or personal circumstances and she has now turned her efforts to making this dream a reality."
Jill Kelland, Addiction and Mental Health Director, Alberta Health Services.
"Komala Pepin is a champion for wellness! She has been instrumental in the development of wellness programs for adults and youth within Edmonton. Komala is a true visionary, plus she has proven abilities to make it happen on the ground. Her sincere concern for the wellness of people with mental health challenges is demonstrated in every interaction and anyone who works with Komala feels valued. After participating in programs that she has spear-headed, they are likely to go onto lead others on their own wellness journey."
~Christine Mummery, Director of Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Alberta Health Services
"In working alongside Komala for several years, it is clear she believes WRAP to be a powerful system that WORKS and anyone can positively benefit from it. Komala's passion for WRAP Works success and her commitment to share and enrich other's lives with it, makes her an amazing leader in this life changing movement."
~Lauren Pearson, Wellness Network and Youth WRAP Coordinator, Alberta Health Services