Resiliency Project

Yellowstone National Park strives to make meaningful improvements to the work-life environments for employees across the park. Yellowstone cannot be protected or managed without a capable and satisfied team—working together—and supporting park staff. Over the last two years, Yellowstone has looked for ways to provide in-park counseling for employees dealing with major incidents such as employee suicides and park fatalities where National Park Service employees are the first responders. Counseling sessions were well attended and feedback from employees recommended increased use of these mental health services.

There are several factors that make in-park counseling worthwhile including the ability for employees to speak to counselors face-to-face without needing to travel more than three hours to a nearby community. The professionals brought into the park are trained trauma counselors who are well-suited for engaging with our first responders after significant medical or law enforcement incidents; counselors are familiar with the values and mission-driven mindset of National Park Service employees. In just one year, over 180 employees have already used the counseling services in Yellowstone.

“This program has helped myself and my coworkers since it started last year. We all live, work, and play with one another so it was imperative to have someone from the outside to talk to. They’ve helped me with work, my family, my coworkers, grief, and also trauma. This is very important to us here at Old Faithful because we’re so removed from the other parts of the park/society.”

— YNP employee

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