COLORADO SPRINGS — September is National Recovery Month and Colorado Behavioral Health Administration is spotlighting several organizations that are helping people on the road to recovery.

“I have some information from the Colorado Health Access Survey that more than 95,000 people in Colorado, 18 years and older reported that they did not get needed substance use treatment or counseling services in 2019,” said Stefany Busch, Media Manager at Colorado Behavioral Health Administration. “So that statistic really speaks to the need that we’re seeing in Colorado for this type of support.”

Lift the Label is a public awareness campaign that works to remove any connotations that come when someone seeks treatment with substance use disorder.

“We know that stigma is one of the main barriers that keep people from seeking treatment for substance use disorder,” said Busch. “The Recovery Cards project created by the Colorado Stigma Campaign, Lift the Label, was created to spotlight the importance of recovery.”

The Recovery Cards Project works with artists in Colorado and across the country to design recovery greeting cards.

“So it’s really something to uplift and support you know, it might be just the perfect thing that someone going through recovery and treatment or their support system needs to continue on that journey,” said Busch.

One artist in Colorado Springs, Lo Gomez, selected their work for consideration.

“So my mom actually works at the state hospital in Pueblo, and she ended up getting an email that they sent out to like all state employees about the recovery cards project,” said Gomez. “She was like this is something you should do. So I was like, okay well I’ll try it, so I sent it in.”

Gomez received the news that they could design a piece of art for one of the cards.

“Once I got picked, they just told me to create something that like spoke to me about recovery,” said Gomez. 

Gomez explained the inspiration behind the design for the greeting card.

“I feel like flowers are a pretty universal symbol of, like, healing and growth. It’s something that everyone can like, digest pretty easily,” said Gomez. “I am really inspired by, like, traditional, like, religious imagery and like cathedrals and gothic churches and things like that. So I just kind of throw [rosary beads] in there.”

The design by Lo Gomez on a recovery greeting card

The project is made possible thanks to a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration.

“This artwork has proved pretty successful in just giving that support that’s needed without even, you know, coming up with the words,” said Busch. “So if you feel like you don’t have the right thing to say, this card really could be that magic piece of info or a piece of support that someone needs.”

The cards are free for Colorado residents. You can order them on their website and have the choice to send the cards by mail or order a downloadable file.

“I didn’t think that this would be an opportunity I was ever going to be able to get a chance for Recovery Month kind of is super personal to me,” said Gomez. “So being able to be part of it is something that was like really awesome, like mind-blowing. I was really thankful.”

Busch shared they are planning to develop new cards in 2023 and interested artists can submit their contact information online.