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.
The Science of Farm Stress - Breaking the Cycle
Stress is our body's reaction to a perceived threat. There are many on farms including economic conditions, physical challenges, working with family, and long hours. This reaction changes that impact our health, decision making, relationships, and safety. Learn about the science of stress and how to break the chronic stress cycle.
A Collection of Farm Stress Resources
Here is a quick one-stop place for stress-related articles (annotated where possible) of program material, publications and media articles developed by John Shutske over thee last three years. This is not comprehensive, but represents some examples of work that's available for use in educational programs, news articles, and for other needs.
Resource Center: Resilient Farms, Families, Businesses and Communities
Extension helps farmers, families, businesses, and communities remain resilient by learning how to manage stress and use planning tools to make sound decisions and create a road-map for the future. Organized around: science of stress, stress management, communication, and financial planning.