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Colorado will fund program to create recovery-friendly workplaces

Photo: Nitat Termmee/gettyimages

Denver — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) has signed legislation that includes funding aimed at establishing recovery friendly workplaces and supporting people in recovery from substance use disorders.

Under S.B. 24-048, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Priola (D-Henderson), the state will invest $1.5 million over the next four years in the Center for Health, Work, and Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health to implement a voluntary employer participation and certification program.

In addition to supporting individuals recovering from addiction, the program will provide assistance to anyone coping with mental and behavioral health challenges.

Participating organizations will receive guidance on identifying worker and workplace needs to support employees in recovery or treatment. They’ll also receive help with:

  • Examining workplace policies
  • Planning company events while being mindful of workers in recovery
  • Having crucial conversations on mental health with managers and supervisors

CHWE Senior Manager David Shapiro believes the program will benefit employers, employees, consumers and communities via an expanded labor force, better worker well-being, decreased turnover, improved productivity and lower health care costs.

“This bill represents the power of bringing public and private organizations together to address public health challenges and to guide collective action,” Shapiro said in a June 10 press release. He added that the main goal is to collectively collaborate with employers in the state to support workers in recovery and treatment and “prevent opioid and substance misuse through workplace interventions.”

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