LifeWorks acquires Breaking Free, a leading provider of digital substance use disorder treatment

Addition of Breaking Free to the LifeWorks platform enhances mental health offerings and helps address the substance use crisis

CHICAGO--()--LifeWorks, a leading provider of comprehensive mental health, digital and in-person total wellbeing solutions, announced the acquisition of Breaking Free, a provider of evidence-based behavioral health SaaS solutions for substance use intervention.

Today’s acquisition supports the strategic direction to grow the capability offered by the LifeWorks platform and enhances the mental health and total wellbeing offerings to care for individuals that need support for both substance use and other mental health concerns.

This acquisition will accelerate LifeWorks growth, over time, by adding substance use solutions to its platform and making these available to the more than 25,000 client organizations that already rely on LifeWorks mental health and wellbeing services.

The Canadian Mental Health Association estimates that five percent of the world’s population has used an illicit substance. More than six million people in Canada, 20 million people in the United States and approximately 10 million people in the United Kingdom have a substance use disorder (SUD) – all with limited options to access affordable care.

Key highlights of the acquisition include:

  • The addition of Breaking Free’s solution in substance use intervention to the LifeWorks platform will result in further enhancing the mental health service clients can seamlessly access through the LifeWorks wellbeing platform – a leading solution for integrated digital treatment for co-occurring mental health concerns;
  • LifeWorks and Breaking Free both share a deep commitment to effective digital healthcare, as well as trusted research and insights that demonstrate strong clinical effectiveness of their programs;
  • LifeWorks and Breaking Free will continue delivering uninterrupted support to Breaking Free’s clients in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, spanning public health agencies, treatment providers and correctional facilities;
  • Headquartered in the United Kingdom, Breaking Free’s highly experienced team will join LifeWorks; and
  • Expanding into the addiction treatment market is a strategic priority for LifeWorks, allowing the company to bolster its mental health capabilities and expand its solutions across the continuum of care.

Breaking Free’s solutions include:

  • A broad range of recovery-oriented resources, behavior change techniques and interventions that strengthen digital and in-person counseling, therapy, medication and other treatments for SUD, and can be used either independently by the patient or in conjunction with a mental health professional or their physician;
  • Digital therapy that enables recovery from dependence on alcohol and more than 70 drugs;
  • Self-guided digital treatment for substance-involved inmates in correctional facilities;
  • Clinically robust public health interventions that address smoking, problem drinking and drug dependence on a population-wide scale; and
  • Extensive research and insights that demonstrate the clinical effectiveness of Breaking Free’s programs, with 36 peer-reviewed studies and five government accreditations.

This acquisition represents less than one percent of LifeWorks revenue and is not expected to have a material impact on the company’s financial performance in 2022.

Comments from Neil King, president, integrated health solutions and executive vice president, LifeWorks

We are pleased to welcome the Breaking Free team to LifeWorks. Breaking Free’s digital platform and substance intervention expertise is a perfect complement to the overall LifeWorks suite of client services and solutions. Culturally, this acquisition is an excellent fit with our values of long-term relationships, treating others the way we want to be treated, and being innovative and entrepreneurial. As one of the most trusted mental health providers, our clients know they can come to us as a one-stop-shop for critical mental health and wellbeing solutions. Our purpose is to improve lives and the addition of Breaking Free ensures we will reach even more organizations and their people in need.”

Comments from Dr. Jonathan Ward, managing director, Breaking Free

Joining LifeWorks is the logical next step in our vision for Breaking Free given the complementary services that both companies provide to our clients and the opportunities presented to our employees. We are excited to integrate with the clinical best practices, digital technology and worldwide presence of LifeWorks for the betterment of our clients.”

About LifeWorks

LifeWorks is a world leader in providing digital and in-person solutions that support the total wellbeing of individuals. We deliver a personalized continuum of care that helps our clients improve the lives of their people and by doing so, improve their business.

About Breaking Free

Breaking Free is a pioneering digital health and behavioral science company specializing in addictions. We develop, implement and evaluate evidence-based digital behavior change interventions that empower people to overcome problem drinking, drug misuse and smoking.



Heather MacDonald


Heather MacDonald