We sat down with Leah to learn more about her work in Park City and what visitors should keep in mind in terms of mental health when visiting our mountain town.

About the Christian Center of Park City

Tell us about the Christian Center of Park City.

The vision of the Christian Center of Park City is to meet people at their point of need as an expression of God's love. There is lots of need in our community, and there are also lots of resources. Some people have a need to receive, while others have a need to give back or donate.

We serve as a kind of a meeting spot  for both of those groups. We have a food pantry—one of the only few food pantries in Summit County. We have legal support and housing assistance programs. We have programs for children, like Operation Hope, where we give out toys at Christmas, or our backpacks program, where people can pick out school supplies and clothing at the start of the school year.

In terms of the clientele at our Counseling Center, people come from all different backgrounds—some who can pay the full fee for services, while others use insurance. Last year, we also gave out $110,000 worth of scholarship assistance to make sure that anyone could receive access to services regardless of their ability to pay. We do all these kinds of things to try to level the playing field and meet people at their point of need.

Keeping Up with Mental Health in Park City

Park City, especially when you’re on vacation, seems like such a happy place. What should visitors keep in mind in terms of mental health in our mountain town?

Just because it’s a beautiful vacation town doesn’t mean that mental health needs don’t exist. In fact, City Council has declared mental health one of the biggest challenges and needs in our community.

When you’re on vacation, it can be easy to just relax and focus on yourself. I’d encourage people to keep in mind there are lots of people in the service industry working very hard—cleaning rooms, waiting on tables, servicing the lifts. Just being courteous to all the people in the service industry would be a tremendous way to give back. The more you can treat everyone with kindness, the happier a place Park City will be.

Mental Health When Visiting Park City

What should tourists to Park City keep in mind in terms of taking care of their mental health?

It’s easy to go overboard when you’re on vacation. There’s a lot you want to see and do—you’re out skiing every day, having late nights, eating and drinking more than usual. People also might be surprised to realize that when you’re at higher altitude, your body makes less serotonin (the “happy” hormone). Visitors might find that they feel more tired than usual, or maybe even feel more depressed than usual. They also may find they’re not sleeping as well due to the altitude.

To offset the effects, make sure you take time for self-care, even on vacation. Schedule some down time to rest. Find some healthy restaurants where you can eat and stay hydrated—especially when you’re drinking alcohol. And make sure to get a good night of sleep—sleep is foundational to how you feel.

Rapid-fire Round

Top hidden gem in Park City?

The boutique and the thrift store the Christian Center! The shopping is unreal. Plus it supports our nonprofit efforts.

Your go-to spot for coffee or tea?

Cupla Coffee

Favorite ski run?

Diamond Ridge at the Canyons

Best date night spot?

Vessel Kitchen