Gov. Jared Polis and CDHS announce launch of Recovery Cards Project

Recovery Cards Project

Recovery Cards Project artists Jannah Farooque and Tabitha Aaron; Gov. Jared Polis; Colorado Poet Laureate Bobby LeFebre; CDHS Executive Director Michelle Barnes; and Kaley Jones, who has been in recovery from opioid use disorder for nine years.

DENVER (Sept. 19, 2019) — The Colorado Department of Human Services' Office of Behavioral Health, along with Gov. Jared Polis, on Thursday launched the Recovery Cards Project, an initiative of the Lift The Label opioid anti-stigma campaign, in an effort to bring hope to Coloradans struggling with addiction and their families. This new line of greeting cards is available to Coloradans free of charge as a celebration of recovery, the efforts of those working to achieve it, and the people who support and encourage them every day.

People in addiction feel lonely and isolated, and friends and family don’t always know what to say. There is a stark difference between the community support available for other illnesses and the support for people and families battling addiction and even loss. Recovery Cards will help fill this gap. The 34 cards were created by a diverse group of 10 artists, four of whom are in recovery. Five cards are available in Spanish. The messages in the cards are geared toward those struggling with or in recovery from addiction, loved ones, and those mourning the loss of a loved one from addiction.

“We are honored to have the voices of recovery represented in the cards themselves and as a part of Lift the Label,” said Michelle Barnes, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Human Services. “We know addiction doesn’t end with treatment, so making sure people in recovery feel seen, loved, and supported is incredibly important for sustained recovery. We hope the cards can serve as a way to start the sometimes hard conversations about addiction and recovery, reduce stigmatizing views of people who struggle with addiction, and encourage support for those who need it at any point in their journey.”

“As someone who grew up in the greeting card business, traveling to trade shows across the country since I was a small child, I know how something as simple as a greeting card can bring a smile to your face, bring warmth to your heart, and bring you comfort in times of trouble,” said Polis. “That’s why we’re proud to announce this project so that we can extend our love and friendship to those who are recovering from addiction.”

Cards can be ordered for free at A Recovery Cards Project kiosk will travel the state with the cards, with its first public event at the Recovery Rally at Civic Center Park at noon on Saturday. Advocates for Recovery hosts this free event annually in September, which is National Recovery Month. The event serves to raise awareness for and celebrate people in recovery. The kiosk will next be on display at the State Capitol on September 24. 

“As a professional artist who is also in recovery, I am excited to be a part of the Lift the Label campaign’s Recovery Cards Project. I hope to be a part of igniting change by bringing awareness to the opioid crisis and mental health needs, and creating an opportunity for connection through these cards,” said Tabitha Aaron of Boulder, a Recovery Cards Project artist.

The project is funded through the State Opioid Response grant, which is a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant awarded to states to increase access to medication-assisted treatment.

Photos of the cards and the kiosk, plus bios of the artists can be found here.