“Recovery-to-work efforts face challenges in identifying long-term funding for programs. Having a good plan in place informs the direction of potential future funding and can help attract resources. The process of action planning naturally organizes key stakeholders, outlines specific programmatic activities, and develops a timeframe for action. This planning process then positions the region to quickly respond to potential funding opportunities; pre-existing collaboration and planning can make a region an especially attractive funding recipient. The engagement conducted during planning can help raise the visibility of the issue for potential funders and direct their attention to the strategies that comprise the action plans.”Addressing Appalachia’s Substance Use Disorder Crisis Through Recovery-to-Work  

Finding Pathways to Sustainability

Building Capacity in Ecosystem Champions for Continued Success

You’ve made progress in coordinating service providers, engaging employers, and supporting workers. Projects and collaborations are beginning to gain some traction. Now, what do you need next to make this work sustainable in your region?

By now there may be multiple projects and partnerships in progress in your recovery-to-work ecosystem. Your regular meetings of ecosystem champions have helped your region identify gaps and opportunities. As your ecosystem continues to advance your collaborations, these meetings can be a forum for discussing sustainability of the work, sharing ideas about how to apply for funding or personnel support, and to make your recovery-to-work process more effective and long-standing.

This is the time to look for opportunities both inside and outside of your community. Local government, charitable foundations, local businesses, and higher education may have funding or resources available to support continued efforts. State and Federal government, national nonprofits and foundations, large corporate employers, and others could also support your community’s work. Further, there is a growing network of likeminded professional groups and communities of practice that can offer best practices and novel approaches.

After completing phase 5, you should have the following outcomes:

  An identification with the role of a “recovery-to-work ecosystem builder” and a network of like-minded professionals and organizations that offer professional development opportunities.

  Broader support for recovery-to-work ecosystem building from policymakers and community stakeholders.

  Ideas for potential new recovery-to-work project opportunities and funding sources and new approaches to grant writing.


Approach Recovery-to-Work Ecosystem Building as a Vocation

Recovery-to-work ecosystem building is a new concept, and the people seeking to build ecosystems in their region can pursue professional development opportunities that improve their capacity, introduce new ideas, and there are people all across Appalachia seeking to improve their efforts. Further, there are adjacent fields that offer insights into various aspects of ecosystem building, ranging from prisoner re-entry to disability services to housing or transportation.

  Activity: Join the Recovery Friendly Workplace Community

  Activity: Join the DDAA Recovery-to-Work Slack Channel


Addressing Stigma and Building Your Case

Support from policymakers and other community stakeholders can drive funding to vital programs and build engagement among ecosystem members contributing to recovery-to-work efforts. Think about how to communicate the value of your efforts to your stakeholders. Consider ways to break down stigma amongst community leaders.

  Resource: Building the Case for Your Local Development District e-learning

  Activity: Use the Shatterproof Addiction Stigma Index to evaluate attitudes about substance use and the people who use substances from the public and use their Addiction Language Guide to improve how you communicate.

Resource: No Shame Movement includes a pledge to end stigma and support others in speaking up about their own mental health and substance use disorders.

Resource: No Shame Toolkit, a social media toolkit developed to help stakeholders support the “No Shame Movement”.

Resource: SAFE Workplaces initiative makes available a range of resources to help employers better address SUD and mental health conditions in the workforce.

Resource: Raise Your Recovery Awareness in the Workplace (Blog Post)


Identify Opportunities for Program Development and Expansion

As a group of ecosystem champions, discuss which recovery to work partnerships and activities have gained the most traction since the formal recovery-to-work efforts began. Discuss upcoming grant opportunities, funding sources, and opportunities to co-fund ecosystem work. Find ways to improve your grant writing process and improve your likelihood of winning funding.

Resource: DDAA INSPIRE Grant Writing Training (March 2, 2023)

Resource: Understanding Opioid Settlement Funds webinar recording (June 7, 2023)

Resource: Appalachia Opioid Remediation Database

Resource: Recovery-Ready Model Law

Resource: ARC Funding Opportunities

Resource: SAMHSA Grant Page and How to Apply

Resource: American Addiction Center guide to finding supportive funding

Resource: Watch this US Department of Health & Human Services webinar (Aril 6th, 2023) on how to promote substance use recovery through community partnerships.