This project works with partners and employers to educate businesses, guiding them to create workplaces that support workers experiencing common behavioral health conditions including substance use and addiction. The Recovery Friendly Workplace (RFW) Initiative provides education, training, and resources to help managers and individuals implement workplace practices and support for employees in treatment and recovery.

In partnership with the CU Johnson Depression Center and the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, we aim to address the national mental health crisis and substance use epidemic made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

There will be an RFW Initiative event held at the CU Anschutz Health Sciences building on June 8, 2023. Register here.

Speakers include:

  • Chancellor Don Elliman, CU Anschutz Medical Campus
  • Heidi Williams, Director of Opioid Response, Colorado Attorney General's Office
  • Rob Valuck, Executive Director, Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention
  • Kevin Hougen, President and CEO, Aurora Chamber of Commerce 

Colorado RFW Employer Group

To continue the work of our successful peer learning series, in partnership with the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, we are launching the RFW Employer Workgroup.

This group will represent Colorado employers who are champions for RFW policies and practices and be the voice of local employers on statewide RFW issues. If you are interested in signing up for the RFW Workgroup or want to learn more information, sign up below.

We know that employers acknowledge the importance of recovery friendly workplaces. This initiative provides opportunities for Colorado business champions to step up and act collectively.
— Lili Tenney, DrPH, MPH, assistant professor at the ColoradoSPH, associate director for outreach and programs at CHWE and project lead

Peer learning series

We hosted a four-part virtual workshop for Colorado executive management, leadership, HR directors, and influencers/decision-makers with a mixed format of case studies and peer discussion. View presentations and resources from this series here.

Employer module

Man sitting at a computer

Workplace Mental Health Module

The Health Links™ Workplace Mental Health Module is designed to help organizations assess their current strategy and how to improve policies and practices that support a positive workplace culture. The module includes a survey, toolkit, customized recommendations, and advising sessions aimed at using evidence-based practices to improve employee mental health.

Online training

Hands folded and resting on a fence

Mental Health in the Workplace

In this free, 30-minute course, you will learn the importance of prioritizing and addressing workplace mental health. Through this course, participants will learn practical and helpful action steps to raise awareness about mental health, reduce stigma, and prioritize care for all employees.


Photos of people working in different industries

The Colorado Recovery Friendly Workplace Toolkit

This toolkit provides a comprehensive document that identifies the steps employers can take to enhance organizational effectiveness and become a workplace that supports all employees, especially those in recovery from addiction. Strategies that Recovery Friendly Workplaces across the nation, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have carefully implemented, rigorously evaluated, and deemed effective are the central foundation for developing this Recovery Friendly Workplace initiative.


Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center logo
Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention logo
Associated General Contractors logo