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Restaurant workers need physical and emotional stability to thrive in an industry that often puts a strain on work/life balance. Stability can come from a number of sources, from employer programs to affordable health care to access to mental health resources. The Colorado Restaurant Foundation is dedicated to supporting restaurant workers to help them advance and thrive for as long as they’re in the industry.

The CRF Health & Wellness Resource Center provides information to help foodservice and hospitality employees make decisions about their health-care needs. We are also working with health-care providers and organizations to meet the specific needs of the industry in the most affordable way possible. Keep reading for links to a wide variety of resources.

What's New?

Angel Relief Fund Expands to Cover Mental Health Care

The CRF’s Angel Relief Fund offers financial relief of up to $1,000 for Colorado restaurant and hospitality workers experiencing unexpected illness, injury, or natural disaster (including COVID-19). In May 2022, we expanded the Angel Relief Fund to cover mental health care as well. Once you apply and are approved, we’ll work with a mental health provider of your choice (and that meets specific criteria) to cover one-time or ongoing expenses of up to $1,000. Direct reimbursement payments to your provider will be set up to protect your privacy.

Learn more and apply here

Medical Health Resources

United Healthcare: Offer your employees more than just a paycheck: Offer them a healthier life. Our partners at UnitedHealthcare deliver meaningful physical, mental, and social health-and-wellness solutions to the hospitality industry.

HealthiestYou by Teladoc: CRA members receive exclusive pricing of only $9 per employee per month. Employers can choose to fund the full amount or cost-share with the employee.

Individual, Family & Small Business Plans: Personalized insurance for CRA members. Open enrollment for individual, family and small business plans runs from November 1 through January 15.

Optum Perks:  Save up to 80% on FDA-approved prescription medication at more than 64,000 pharmacies nationwide. This is a free program with no enrollment required. Go here to download a savings card.

Mental Health Resources

Call Lines and Crisis Assistance

988 – National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat at

Colorado Crisis and Support Line: If you or a loved one is suffering a mental health crisis and need immediate help, call this support line to speak with mental health professionals available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, at 844-493-8255, or send a text to 38255.

Crisis Text Line: In crisis? Text for free, immediate help anytime from anywhere. Connect with a crisis coordinator within 25 seconds on average. Communicate until you feel safe. Text HELLO to 741741.

Substance Use Disorder Helpline: In crisis? Call for free, immediate help anytime from anywhere. An individual and/or family member can speak with a licensed recovery advocate about their concerns and needs, get a referral to a professional who can develop a personalized treatment plan, and access family support resources. Call 855-780-5955, or visit Optum’s Live and Work Well website.

In-Person and Online Mental Health Support

CHOW (Culinary Hospitality Outreach and Wellness): CHOW is a nonprofit organization that provides mental health resources to folks in the restaurant/hospitality industry. Our mission is to support wellness within the hospitality industry and to improve the lives of our community through shared stories, skills, and resources. CHOW is trying to reduce the stigma and address concerns that have been long overlooked in the hospitality industry.

Khesed Wellness: Outpatient mental health and wellness services that are affordable for the underinsured, including the hospitality industry.

Wellpower: Formerly the Mental Health Center of Denver, Wellpower offers a Mental Health First Aid class that “presents an overview of mental illness and substance use disorders in the U.S. and introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments.” Classes are scheduled every two weeks, or you can set up private classes for your business or organization.

QPR Institute: QPR stands for Question, Persuade, Refer. The mission of the QPR Institute is “to reduce suicidal behaviors and save lives by providing innovative, practical, and proven suicide prevention training.”

Ben’s Friends: Free hospitality-focused substance abuse support network. Join a safe environment with others who understand the unique challenges experienced by people on the front lines in restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality positions. Click here to find a meeting near you or access telephone meetings.

Active Minds: Active Minds is the nation’s premier nonprofit organization supporting mental health awareness and education for young adults.

Mental Health America: Online Screening to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition.

Code 4 Counseling: Free Mental Health Sessions by Trained Counselors Open to Hospitality and Restaurant Employees.

Aspen Recovery Centers: The AspenRidge REACH program in Colorado is an online substance abuse treatment program for anyone who is ready to get sober and stay sober. Licensed therapists use private, HIPAA-compliant video for individual, group, and family sessions – all from the privacy of your own home.

The Trevor Project: Support for transgender and nonbinary youth.

Hope For The Day: A non-profit movement empowering the conversation on proactive suicide prevention and mental health education.

Not 9 to 5: A non-profit global leader in mental health advocacy for the foodservice and hospitality sector.

Healthy Pour: Healthy Pour can help educate your restaurant or bar team on improving their health and wellness.

Women’s Recovery: Women’s Recovery exists to help women overcome addiction and find healing for mental health issues in a warm, welcoming environment. The organization’s outpatient addiction treatment center in Colorado combines trauma-informed care with clinical treatment.

Man Therapy: Man Therapy® takes a humorous approach to addressing the serious issue of the high rate of suicide and unaddressed mental illness among men.

The Phoenix: A sober active community that fuels resilience and harnesses the transformational power of connection so that together participants rise, recover, and live. The Phoenix offers virtual classes in fitness, meditation, and other methods of maintaining focus and balance.

Northpoint Recovery Colorado: Northpoint Colorado provides in-house treatment for substance use disorders and mental health needs. Almost half of the people helped have a co-occurring mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression. Therefore, the organization takes an integrated approach to addiction recovery. Northpoint is in-network with most insurance companies, offers private rooms for each client, and strives to make the patient journey a seamless and positive experience.

Angel Relief Fund

If you are a Colorado restaurant employee experiencing hardship due to an unexpected illness, injury, natural disaster, or mental health crisis, the CRF can provide financial assistance up to $1,000 through our Angel Relief Fund.

For Those Experiencing Lost Wages

Unemployment: File an unemployment claim with the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment

Disability: Apply for Social Security Administration disability benefits

Emergency Mandatory Paid Sick Leave: Colorado Department of Labor & Employment

Housing Resources

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD): Resources for people experiencing pandemic-related rent or mortgage issues.

Home Forward: Short-term rent assistance

Northeast Denver Housing Center: Affordable housing in northeast Denver

Industry Hardship Grants

CRA  Mile High Chapter Hardship Relief Fund: The Mile High Hardship Fund is a program of the Colorado Restaurant Association, Mile High Chapter, a 501(c)(6) non-charitable organization. The Mile High Chapter is proud to provide emergency assistance to our hospitality employees through our philanthropic foundation. The Hardship Fund, our employee assistance program, was established to care for the employees working in restaurants, foodservice and hospitality. Helping with cost-of-living expenses due to injury, illness or natural disaster, the Mile High Chapter partners with the industry to provide one-time crisis grants of up to $1,000 to members of Denver’s hospitality community facing unanticipated hardship.

Bartender Emergency Assistance Program: BEAP grants seek to provide immediate financial assistance for those in the hospitality industry who encounter temporary, emergent, financial hardship due to unforeseen and/or catastrophic life events.

CORE: Children of Restaurant Employees provides financial relief to food and beverage service employees with children when navigating a qualifying circumstance.

Southern Smoke Foundation: The Southern Smoke Foundation offers emergency relief grants that can be used to pay for essentials like groceries, clothing, and medications, and can cover the cost of rent, natural disaster damages, lost wages, and more. There’s no deadline for requests and no cap on the amount given. Grants are awarded based on unforeseen financial crises. Founded in Texas, Southern Smoke now offers relief in several states, including Colorado.


General Community Service Organizations

211: Connects you to expert, caring help.

Salvation Army

Mile High United Way

Project Angel Heart

Metro Caring

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Stacy Griest

Have any questions?

Call or email Stacy Griest, Program Manager, Colorado Restaurant Foundation

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