Stress & Mental Health

Stress is our body’s reaction to a threatening event or stimulus. Such events and stimuli are called “stressors.” People differ in how they perceive and react to stressors. Something one person might rate as highly stressful might be rated as considerably less stressful (or even desirable) by another. Several factors influence our ability to handle stress:

  • The presence of a social network (e.g., family, friends, community groups, church, and schools)
  • Our skill and confidence as we think about complex situations and then develop, evaluate, and take actions to solve problems
  • Personal variables (e.g., physical health, experience, confidence, anxiety threshold, and problem-solving ability)

Farm stressors are many and include weather, economic volatility, impaired decision making, physical health impacts, and negative consequences on relationships and communication.  Since 2016, we have been very engaged in research and educational programs on farmer stress, mental health, and suicide prevention. Below are some important resources.  More are available upon request.