Following the death of a popular Minneapolis restaurant manager, Mayor Jacob Frey hosted a panel Monday promoting mental health and addiction resources to service-industry workers.
Frey highlighted the work of Serving Those Serving, a Twin Cities nonprofit run by Sarah Webster Norton, a former bartender, that brings counseling assistance to restaurants and bars.
Webster Norton said these services are "desperately needed" among those in service jobs, where mental health problems and substance abuse are prevalent. The organization partners with Stillwater-based workplace-counseling service Sand Creek, and is available for $45 per year per employee, Webster Norton said.
The event took place at Smack Shack downtown, where Jon Jacklin worked as its gregarious operator and director until he died of a sudden brain aneurysm last month at age 47.
Smack Shack owner Josh Thoma said his employees have been using the service to help cope with Jacklin's death.
Frey, citing national praise of Minneapolis' restaurant scene, said it's critical to remember the workers who make it happen and the toll the work can take.
"We value them, and they need to know it," said Frey.