Farmer Stress & Emotional Health

Although farming is often mythologized as a healthy and peaceful way of life, it is in fact one of the most dangerous occupations. Farms are considered among the most dangerous environments for farmers regardless of age (young children – seniors), gender or ethnicity. In reality, farmer and agricultural workers are faced with a great many circumstances over which they have little or no control—weather, crop blight, labor shortages, and the volatility of the market—which can lead to psychological distress. Additional factors that can contribute to stress include financial losses, chronic illness or pain, a sense of work-life imbalance, and/or the physical or social barriers to access mental health services. Significant psychological hazards are associated with agriculture (Gregoire, 2003), including high levels of stress (Booth & Lloyd, 2000), depression and anxiety (Eisner et al., 1998), and increased rates of suicide (Booth et al., 2000; Page & Fragar, 2002).

The Southeast Center is committed to the development of community-based support systems informed by local voices to improve farmer emotional health and well-being. Select a menu item at left to read more.