2019 Stress and Resilience Among Agricultural Workers in Vulnerable Rural Communities

The SCCAHS Stress and Resilience Among Agricultural Workers in Vulnerable Rural Communities State of the Science Meeting was held on September 26-27, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Those who work in agriculture face many stressors, including financial uncertainty, family and relationships issues, social isolation, disaster, accidental injury, and acute and chronic diseases, that can affect their mental health. While some mental health issues, such as the high rate of farmer suicides, have been discussed widely, other mental health stressors that affect agriculture workers in vulnerable rural communities have not been discussed as broadly. Research, strategies, and policies from across disciplines are needed 1) to identify the mental health issues that farmworkers, farm operators, farm owners and others in these communities face; 2) address the social, environmental and built-environment associations with mental health in rural communities; and 3) understand the inequities in farmworker/fishery/forestry community mental health (depressive or substance use disorder rates) and how we might close these gaps to encourage individual, family, and community-level resilience.

To address this need, the Southeastern Coastal Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (SCCAHS) organized a State of the Science meeting, focusing on Stress and Resilience Among Agricultural Workers in Vulnerable Rural Communities. The State of the Science meeting included a poster session featuring research on Thursday evening, followed by Friday’s one-day meeting with a crosscutting slate of researchers from various fields to present current findings and to begin the process of developing future research collaborations on stress and resilience in vulnerable rural communities.

Presentations

Christine Chasek

Department of Counseling and Psychology, University of Nebraska Kearney Expertise: Substance use, agricultural behavioral health, drug counseling in rural setting

Anna Scheyett

Dean of the School of Social Work, University of Georgia Expertise: Farmer mental health and suicide in Georgia

Robert Leeman

Department of Health Education and Behavior in the College of Health and Human Performance, University of Florida Expertise: Substance abuse with a focus on alcohol abuse

Jeanne-Marie Stacciarini

Director of Diversity and Inclusion, College of Nursing, University of Florida Expertise: Mental health promotion and health disparities in minorities, community-based participatory research for minorities, rural and international populations

Ashley Wennerstrom

Community and Population Medicine, School of Medicine, Louisiana State University Expertise: Building community resilience through mental health infrastructure

Julie Smithwick

Director of the Community Health Worker Institute, University of South Carolina

Lynn Grattan

School of Medicine, University of Maryland Expertise: Individual resilience following disaster

Angela Lindsey

Assistant Professor of Family, Youth and Community Sciences at the University of Florida Expertise: Mental health first aid workshops to address mental health needs following Florida hurricanes

Kim Dunleavy

Associate Clinical Professor of Physical Therapy at the University of Florida Expertise: Characteristics of seafood workers who select teamwork, movement and equipment modification options to address chronic low back pain

Heidi Radunovich

Associate Professor of Family, Youth and Community Sciences at the University of Florida Expertise: Understanding the scope of the opioid epidemic for agricultural industries, and the roles of pain, depression and stress

Farah Arosemena

Program Manager at the Southeastern Coastal Center for Agricultural Health and Safety Expertise: Embedding health surveillance into SCCAHS: Contributing to a Southeast regional research data repository

Joseph Grzywacz

Chair of the Department of Family and Child Science at Florida State University Expertise: Methodological issues in mental health surveillance among seasonal and migrant Latino farmworkers

SCCAHS Region

Email: sccagsafety@gmail.com
Outreach: ashleynmcleod@ufl.edu

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