(COLORADO SPRINGS) — One in five Americans experience mental illness, and in 2021, more than 33% of those people also experienced a substance use disorder, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Tuesday, Oct. 10 is World Mental Health Day, and what better time to talk about a way you can inspire recovery than with a good old-fashioned greeting card designed by local artists.

There are greeting cards for Mother’s Day, your father-in-law’s birthday, and even your grandparent’s anniversary.

“People would share with me, ‘Hey Charlotte, people don’t know what to say to me when I tell them I’m in recovery’ or ‘Charlotte, people don’t know what to say to me when I tell them my son passed away from an opioid overdose’,” said Charlotte Whitney, Deputy Communications Director for the Colorado Behavioral Health Administration.

For the moments when you’re looking for the right words to say, but ‘get well soon’ just won’t do.

“There’s this clear gap in people knowing what to say to be able to offer support or even just be a listening ear,” said Whitney.

That’s where the Recovery Cards Project, a state funded initiative that started in 2019, can help.

“I like to create things that are uplifting, but also true to the cause,” said Colorado Springs artist Lexi Hazelwood.

The cards are designed by Colorado artists, who all have a connection to recovery. Artists like Hazelwood, who created two of the cards available right now.

“Every single person is either in recovery themselves, they know somebody close to them who’s gone through it, or they’re just a big ally and advocate of supporting people who are struggling with their mental health,” said Whitney.

The cards are a time-tested, silent gesture that can speak volumes.

“I hope more than anything, it kind of just brings to light that they’re not alone, that there’s people on their team, and people who are rooting for them,” Hazelwood said.

The Recovery Card Project is an initiative of Lift The Label, which is Colorado’s stigma reduction effort surround addiction and recovery. The Recovery Cards are free, just click here to order one for a family member or friend.

In September, which is Recovery Month, 18 new designs created by 10 local artists were launched.