We are a group of individuals from within the zoo & aquarium industry that are working to create awareness and support regarding employee mental well-being. We are working to create and collate resources to support the larger industry.
It is our mission to help bring mental health support to those in the zoo and aquarium industry by raising awareness, sharing ideas, resources, and helpful tools.
Growing Resiliency for Aquarium and Zoo Employees, LLC better known as GRAZE was founded in 2020 by Erin McNally and Shannon McKinney.
We were both planning to present to the AZA community on various mental wellness topics. Shannon actually made a post on the AZA network looking for others to present on a panel for the Annual conference last year, which is how we united.
We quickly realized, as we know many others in this industry have, that there is a need for something more in regards to mental health support for the zoo & aquarium industry.
GRAZE was created with the intent to bring mental health support to those in the zoo and aquarium industry by raising awareness, sharing ideas, resources, and tools.
Ways we do that is by offering training programs, workshop and webinars. We also work closely with a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has industry specific experience as well to provide certification programs for Mental Health First Aid, Group and Individual crisis intervention, and we have teams set to deploy to provide Critical Incident Stress Management post critical events, such as traumatic loss at a facility or for natural disasters.
Since it’s creation, GRAZE has presented at multiple industry conferences about supporting the mental health of aquarium and zoo staff, assisted facilities with critical incident response and animal loss, and created training modules to help develop resiliency and peer support within individual facilities.