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Farm Financial Stress Recognition & Resources. Chris Bruynis and Bruce Clevenger OSU Extension Educators, Ag & Natural Resources. Session Objectives. To increase awareness of stress and the impact on mental health of farm families To outline several strategies to reduce financial stress

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farm financial stress recognition resources

Farm Financial StressRecognition & Resources

Chris Bruynis and Bruce Clevenger

OSU Extension Educators, Ag & Natural Resources

session objectives
Session Objectives
  • To increase awareness of stress and the impact on mental health of farm families
  • To outline several strategies to reduce financial stress
  • To provide mental health resources that are available to farm families
national ag safety database
National Ag Safety Database
  • Perceived Stress and Depression Among Cash Grain Farmers in Ohio (4,860 cash grain farms in 2002)
    • Two schools of thought measured
      • Less stress due to idyllic workplace
      • Numerous stressors unique to farming
    • Factors
      • Age and education
      • Full-time farm + full-time off farm
      • Full-time farm only
      • Farm size and level of earnings
current issues
Current Issues
  • Depressed milk and pork prices
  • Loss of off farm jobs due to economic crises
  • Increased energy and other input costs
warning signs of financial stress
Warning Signs of Financial Stress
  • Physical Reactions
  • Cognitive Reactions
  • Emotional Reactions
  • Behavioral Reactions
physical reactions
Physical Reactions
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Changes in appetite
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and stomach discomfort
  • Elevated blood pressure & heart rate
  • Jumpiness or feeling “wired”
cognitive reactions
Cognitive Reactions
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Recurrent intrusive thoughts
  • Memory problems
  • Decreased problem-solving ability
  • Nightmares
  • Unproductive worry
emotional reactions
Emotional Reactions
  • Shock and numbness
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger and irritability
  • Guilt, shame, doubt, pessimism
  • Loss of status, role, security, trust and control
behavioral reactions
Behavioral Reactions
  • Preoccupation with the news stories, bank statements, rumors, etc.
  • Decline in work performance
  • Increased substance abuse or other unhealthy habits (e.g., gambling, comfort eating)
  • Increased conflict with family or coworkers (argumentative, irritable, needy, isolated, distant/detached)
farm financial stress and mental health
Farm Financial Stress and Mental Health
  • Consequences…
    • Impact on Individuals
    • Impact on Families
    • Impact on Children
    • Impact on Communities
    • Reactions
    • Coping
  • The research is profoundly real
farm financial stress and mental health11
Farm Financial Stress and Mental Health
  • Impact on Individuals
    • Farmers will be at increased risk for farm accidents and injury. Geller, The Journal of Rural Health
    • Farmers and rural residents will be at increased risk for mental disorders, especially depression, but…* Ortega, Rural Sociology
farm financial stress and mental health12
Farm Financial Stress and Mental Health
  • Impact on Families
    • Farm and farm families will experience increased inter-generational conflict. Anderson, Journal of Rural Community Psychology
    • The quality of farm marriages will be affected with an increase in thoughts of divorce. Johnson, Family Relations
farm financial stress and mental health13
Farm Financial Stress and Mental Health
  • Impact on Children
    • Parents suffering from depression related to the farm crisis will not only have relationship difficulties with their spouses, but also have poorer parent-child relations. Ge, X. Journal of Research on Adolescence
    • Depression and stress related to the farm crisis will result in poor parenting practices and in turn produce increased risk for adolescents internalizing disorders such as depression. Ge, X. Journal of Health and Social Behavior
farm financial stress and mental health14
Farm Financial Stress and Mental Health
  • Impact on Communities
    • In some cases, depression will be contagious affecting entire communities. O’Brien, Rural Sociology
    • There will be increased community disorganization which will result in increased levels of conduct problems among adolescents. Simons, American Journal of Community Psychology
farm financial stress and mental health15
Farm Financial Stress and Mental Health
  • Reactions
    • Farmers will increasingly believe that outside forces, rather than their own actions, will determine their fate. Kettner, Great Plains Sociologist
    • The general public will not care what’s happening to farmers and rural residents. Lyson, Rural Sociology
10 reactions to financial stress
10 Reactions to Financial Stress
  • Living from one paycheck to the next
  • Being confused about financial circumstances
  • Being in a constant financial crisis.
    • bouncing checks
    • making only the minimum payments
    • using one credit card to pay another
  • Increased risk taking
    • letting health and car insurance coverage lapse because of the lack of money
  • Buying things compulsively
10 reactions to financial stress17
10 Reactions to Financial Stress
  • Spending lavishly on children because they never had those things themselves as a child.
  • Worrying constantly about bills.
  • Developing physical symptoms
  • Arguing frequently with partner about money and spending.
  • Avoiding any discussion of finances
farm financial stress and mental health18
Farm Financial Stress and Mental Health
  • Coping
    • Persons in farm households will not use the social support networks available to them as effectively as the people in towns to lessen the psychological consequences of economic distress. Ortega, International Sociological Association
farm financial stress and mental health19
Farm Financial Stress and Mental Health
  • Coping
    • Rural men will be less likely than rural women to use mental health services and this “gender gap” will be greater than for their urban counterparts. Larson, University of Nebraska Medical Center
recognize and manage the stress of farm life
Recognize and Manage the Stress of Farm Life
  • OSU Extension Factsheet AEX 693-08
  • Common Stressful Situations
  • People handle and express stress in different ways
  • Symptoms
    • Physical
    • Emotional
    • Behavioral
mental health services
Mental Health Services

http://mentalhealth.ohio.gov/

alcohol drug addition
Alcohol & Drug Addition

http://www.odadas.state.oh.us/public/

closing thoughts
Closing Thoughts

Financial stress among farm and rural residents is present today!

Borrowers will eventually see you as the bad guys if financial stress isn’t resolved.

You are not trained to be counselors…don’t try to solve your clients emotional problems…direct them to someone who is trained to do so!

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