For Judges

Welcome to the Judicial Well-Being Page. After a study circulated in the Wyoming Judicial Branch in 2022, elevating judicial well-being became as much a priority in Wyoming as it is across the nation.  Many thanks to Chief Justice Kate M. Fox for introducing this topic and the breadth of resources available to Wyoming judges and their staffs:

60% of judges rated mental well-being of employees and judicial officers as a high priority in the Wyoming Judicial Branch’s 2022 survey.  It stands to reason that at least 60% of us should be making our mental well-being a high priority.  That means do not postpone taking some action, check out these resources today, pick an approach that works for you, and make a little bit of time a few days a week for the care and feeding of your mental health.  I would say more but I have to go for a walk now. 

Judges and court staff face unique pressures as legal professionals. Judges and their staffs regularly confront contention and the personal trauma of others, whether through family law disputes, personal injury cases, the facts in criminal or family violence cases and other matters. Docket pressure and caseloads seem never ending. Certain decisions are of such gravity they occupy unusual mental bandwidth and time. Judges in a rural state like Wyoming may experience social isolation, experiencing less of their community than when they were practicing attorneys. These factors are not unique to Wyoming judges. A survey within the judicial branch in 2022 revealed mental well-being as a high priority.  In 2023 the Wyoming Judicial Branch added a commitment to developing secondary-trauma and well-being programs and services to the branch’s Strategic Plan. Fortunately, there are ample resources available to support judges and judicial employees.


  • General Resources. A 2023 article in Judicature distilled recent research on sources of judicial stress and efforts to enhance judicial resilience. Read article
  • In July 2022, the National Center for State Courts developed a compendium of well-being strategies for judges and court staff, to better individual resilience in the face of ongoing and unique pressures of court systems. NCSC compendium of strategies
  • A report issued in 2020 identifying the unique sources of stress for the judiciary. It also provides recommendations for the judiciary and related stakeholders. Stress & Resiliency in the US Judiciary
  • Wellness and the Gavel: Wellness in the Judiciary and the Judiciary’s Impact on Wellness, Wyoming Lawyer, Feb. 2021. Read Article
  • Five Ways Judges Can Improve Well Being, Judicature, Winter 2017 Read article
  • Secondary Trauma. Vicarious trauma, also called secondary trauma, impacts judges and court personnel thanks to a combination of busy dockets, exposure to traumatic events through court proceedings, and involvement with emotionally-charged cases. Read more here. Then check out this free self-test for compassion fatigue and access more resources. Self Test
  • A state Lawyer Assistance Program offers this short list of signs and solutions for judges experiencing secondary trauma. Read Here. And here is a State Court Leadership Brief from the National Center for State Courts on the same with links to even more resources.
  • The Honorable Victor Reyes, formerly sitting in the 10th Judicial District in Pueblo, Colorado, published this article in the ABA Journal in May 2022 sharing his experience and management of vicarious trauma. Read Article
  • Peer Support. Judges Helping Judges is a confidential peer-to-peer helpline for judges who need assistance because of alcoholism, substance use disorders, addiction or mental health issues. This helpline is sponsored by the American Bar Association and is staffed by volunteer judges who are in recovery or going through treatment. Judges in need of help and those interested in serving as a peer-to-peer volunteer should call 800-219-6474 during business hours Central time. All information is confidential and protected by statute. National Helpline for Judges Helping Judges: 1-800-219-6474.
  • WyLAP & WPAP. Judges and attorneys in the judicial branch can access the Wyoming Lawyer Assistance Program—a free and confidential resource for Wyoming’s lawyers, judges, and law students for support in unmanaged stress, depression, impairment, substance abuse, and more. WYLAP
  • The Wyoming Professional Assistance Program (WPAP) offers all licensed Wyoming professionals confidential assistance related to mental health and substance abuse, including evaluations, intervention guidance, life coaching, treatment provider referrals, and monitoring programs. A first step when reaching out to WPAP is a personalized consultation. Contact information can be found here: WPAP Or, for those who want to explore options with even more anonymity, WPAP offers a new confidential, anonymous, self-assessment questionnaire to get confidential feedback from a counselor and connection to available resources.   WPAP Self-Assessment Tool
  • Ethics Guidance. Sometimes well-being challenges manifest through substance abuse or addiction. Sometimes they manifest through other behaviors or oversights, landing judges into ethics violations and reprimands. The National Center of State Courts compiled a host of resources on judicial ethics topics and ethics violations.
  • Cigna Employee Assistance Program. Those employees covered by the State of Wyoming health insurance program have access to no cost work/life resources through the Cigna EAP program. Services include access to resources and licensed clinicians to help with a wide variety of concerns from family and financial issues to substance use, emotional health, and stress. Learn more at
  • Wyoming on Wellness. Everyone’s mental health needs a boost from time to time. Whether you’re hoping to connect with a counselor, visit a behavioral health provider, or get on-demand resources for managing stress and anxiety, you’ll find exactly what you need from Wyoming on Wellness (an extension of Cigna). Get access to apps and virtual therapy through a variety of sources. Visit for more information.