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Eliminating the Stigma and Bridging the Gap in Understanding

First Lady Kathryn Burgum, a huge recovery advocate, will be highlighting the “Recovery Reinvented” movement at 1 Million Cups Fargo on March 11. This 1 Million Cups will be themed Behavioral Health Day. 1 Million Cups takes place from 9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. and is located at NDSU’s Barry Hall on the Mezzanine level.


About First Lady Kathryn Burgum

First Lady Kathryn Burgum is a recovery advocate and attended Arizona State University for her undergraduate and University of North Texas for a Graduate Master’s in Business Administration. She played Women’s Rugby in college and her interests include fishing, snowboarding and any hot beverage from Starbucks! Kathryn expands, “My biggest passion is working with people to help eliminate the stigma that surrounds the disease of addiction. As a person in long-term recovery from addiction for over 18 years, I know firsthand the struggle and shame that so many people face in their journey to recovery. This passion continues to inspire me to reduce the barriers that I faced in my own battle with this disease and creates opportunity for a more open and supportive culture that embraces recovery.”


Her Advocacy for Recovery

One of Kathryn’s passions is advocating for recovery and she does this through sharing her story and being a face and voice for recovery for any event, meeting, or speaking engagement she goes to. Kathryn explains, “Storytelling is one of the most effective ways that anyone can help eliminate stigma because it bridges the gaps in understanding and humanizes the struggles we go through. We also advocate for these positions by collaborating with advocates, people with lived experience of addiction, our state’s behavioral health team, and state and local leaders to support state-wide initiatives that enable recovery.”

This Behavioral Health themed 1 Million Cups day is meant to address and help people understand behavioral health as a whole and according to Kathryn, this is extremely critical. Kathryn said, “In North Dakota, 63% of the population believes that addiction is a disease. But that means over 1 in 3 people believe it is a choice or moral failing. We cannot fully address the challenges of mental illness and addiction until people understand these issues as a public health crisis that requires a holistic response from healthcare.”


Event Details

First Lady Kathryn Burgum plans to share how the “Recovery Reinvented” movement is operating to remove the stigma and normalize the conversations surrounded addiction within North Dakota. She thinks it’s important to speak at events like 1 Million Cups because “1 Million Cups offers that platform for people to be inspired to take that next step in making their community a stronger, healthier, and more connected place to live and work.”

1 Million Cups Behavioral Health Day will be on March 11 from 9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Again, it is located within NDSU’s Barry Hall on the Mezzanine level. If you’d like to learn more about Recovery Reinvented, you can visit the website. To keep up with updates on Recovery Reinvented follow it’s Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. To keep up with First Lady Burgum, follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Emily Avdem

Emily is a student at NDSU and a Content Creator for The Nice Center, the entrepreneurial department located within NDSU's College of Business.