Area business and community leaders are invited to participate in "Good for Business: A Community Conversation About Employee Mental Well-Being," a free conference planned for Thursday, May 9, at The Woods in Merrifield.

Crow Wing County Sheriff Scott Goddard will open the conference with a presentation about what law enforcement experiences regarding mental health. A panel discussion of those responding to mental health emergencies will follow Goddard's talk.

Cuyuna Regional Medical Center psychologist Dr. Kristin Furan will present "Wellness in the Workplace" and Northern Pines Mental Health Center providers will offer "Question, Persuade, Refer" training for ensuring effective crisis intervention.

Uplifted Wellness Studio yoga instructor Jill Mattson will offer "Connecting Mind, Body and Soul," and LifeSpring Church Pastor Eric Anderson will present "Towards a Kinder Society: Manners, Self-Control and Social Media." Resources will be provided for employee program development.

Mental health has been identified as a health challenge facing Crow Wing County by the Community Health Needs Assessment recently completed by Cuyuna Regional Medical Center. A group of concerned community members coordinated the conference to bring awareness to the mental health issues faced in our area and plan future steps on how we can help residents.

"We all want our employees to be happy and healthy," said Cuyuna Regional Medical Center CEO Kyle Bauer. "At CRMC, we take our mental health as seriously as our physical health: look after your mind and your body will follow."

CRMC has made improving mental health of the residents it serves a priority with the goal of decreasing the number of adults who report poor mental health from the 28 percent reported. CRMC is sponsoring the conference and is one of the many community organizations working together to improve mental health care in Crow Wing County.

The conference is open to the community; lunch and refreshments will be provided. There is no cost to attend but registration is required at