The Chamber Works to Erase Mental Health Stigmas in the Workplace

The entire event centered on the goal for creating an inclusive work environment

MOORHEAD, Minn. – Employers in the community are learning to create a more inclusive work environment for people facing mental and behavioral health issues with The Chamber’s monthly Eggs & Issues event.

“The idea is to give people that work in this every day, people that have gone through some of their own issues themselves, to help our audience understand that it is a serious problem in the workplace,” Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce president & CEO Craig Whitney said.

First Lady of North Dakota, Kathryn Burgum, started off the conversation by sharing her past with alcoholism.

“I’m not an expert on the disease of addiction, but I do have lived experience,” Burgum said.

She focused on the goal of normalizing the conversation surrounding addiction and creating a supportive workforce culture.

“Reach out for help,” Burgum said. “You know, you don’t have to struggle alone. It’s an emotional topic for me but I know that you know when I heard other people talk about their struggles, it inspired me.”

Cass County Jail Administrator, Captain Andrew Frobig, and a Sanford psychiatrist, joined in by sharing correctional practices and resources for people.

An employer and audience member is planning to implement what he learned into everyday communication.

“Show them empathy,” Xcel Energy manager Mark Nisbet said. “Make sure they realize they’ll still maintain their job with us and make sure they realize if they need to be in treatment, we will be there for them when they return.”

Burgum even shared the support she received from a previous employer and how it inspired her to strive to be better.

“More than anything, we just need to know that people are not alone with their struggles and there are a lot of resources to help,” Burgum said.

The next Eggs & Issues event is on April 2nd.

Categories: Community, Health, North Dakota News