Conservation Mental Health
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Key Concepts

Long-term physical or mental health issues can and have sidelined some of the most promising activists striving for social change. This can have a lasting impact on their ability to live fulfilling, healthy and rewarding lives. Aside from the personal impact of these challenges, the impact of burnout and its outcomes can be challenging for the management of the organizations that are striving to make the world better.

~ Stephen Legault, Taking a Break From Saving the World

Anyone working in conservation or sustainable recreation can directly feel the weight of biodiversity and habitat loss, the impacts of climate change, or the expectations and demands of public users and partners. Front line staff serve the public and nature directly, often as first responders in emergencies and disasters. Managers and decision-makers can find themselves accountable for heavy, lasting decisions that can impact entire communities or species. 

It is critical for everyone in the parks community to be mindful of our individual and collective mental wellness. This begins with listening to ourselves and each other and accessing the employee support services offered by each of our agencies, our communities, and our health care system.

CPPCL has identified the mental wellbeing of the parks and protected areas sector as a priority. Several capstone teams have focused on conservation mental health. CPPCL also offers a Challenge Coin program to reduce stigma around accessing employer mental health programs.

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Contacts for employee and family assistance programs in federal, provincial, or territorial parks and protected areas agencies.

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CPPCL is grateful for a community of colleagues working in and helping build our understanding in this area of parks and protected areas leadership.

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