RFW Team at the Missouri Behavioral Health Conference

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The Missouri Behavioral Health Conference was held at the St. Louis Union Station in September.  Ann McCauley, the Rural Opioids Technical Assistance (ROTA) Project Director, Chiquita Chanay, the PI on the ROTA grant and the CHEO Director, and Dr. Doug Swanson,  Field Specialist in Labor and Workforce Development, presented on the Recovery Friendly Workplace initiative.  

Doug Swanson, PhD, Field Specialist in Labor and Workforce Development (left), Chiquita Chanay, Rural Opioid Technical Assistance (ROTA) grant PI (center), Ann McCauley, ROTA Project Director (right) at the Missouri Behavioral Health Conference in September

The University of Missouri Extension received a grant to fund the Recovery Friendly Workplaces (RFWs) Initiative.  This presentation detailed the efforts behind the grant to develop a Recovery Friendly Workplace credential through training, technical assistance, and support that assists businesses in fostering a workplace culture that promotes employee safety, health, and well-being. 

The RFW initiative offers strategies that provide support for managers and employees, including reducing stigma and providing recovery resources related to the challenges surrounding substance use disorders. Recovery Friendly Workplaces decrease costs due to impaired productivity and absenteeism, and improve safety, productivity, and profitability in the workplace.  RFWs impact the bottom line through resources that foster a supportive work environment that encourages the success of all employees.  RFWs promote individual wellness by empowering workplaces to provide support for employees recovering from substance use disorder.

The goals of the presentation were to increase the support for the Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative by helping programs, individuals, and organizations learn about becoming designated as a Recovery Friendly Workplace, to increase an understanding about substance misuse and behavioral health through evidence-based trainings, resources, and services to meet the emerging needs of businesses and organizations at all levels of readiness, and to build a network of businesses and organizations interested in creating healthy and safe work environments where employers, employees, and communities can collaborate to create positive change, eliminate stigma, and support recovery.

This post was written by Ann McCauley, ROTA Project Director.