Seeking support for mental health: Evaluating social identity, social capital, and self-stigma of agricultural producers and their help-seeking preferences
Keywords:farmers, suicide, public health, extension, professional development
Stigma, cultural norms, nature of work and lack of access to care are among the many variables that place agricultural producers particularly at risk for compromised mental health and related illness. One variable related to improved mental health outcomes is help-seeking intention, which can be mediated by variables such as social identity and social capital. The study’s purpose was to characterize these variables among producers and describe the intention of agricultural producers to seek mental health assistance. Researchers conducted a bi-regional state survey of agricultural producers in 32 Texas counties. A representative sample of Texas agricultural producers (n = 429) were surveyed to understand their social identity and social capital as well as their intentions to seek mental health assistance for personal or emotional problems and for suicide ideation. Results support the use of identity-based programming to increase social capital, in conjunction with tailored mental health education and training to promote healthy help-seeking behavior among agricultural producers. Researchers recommend innovative solutions for agricultural extension to consider for improving stakeholder’s lives. An agricultural extension central resource or information hub, which houses national resources and information about this growing area of research would be a valuable investment of time and resources.
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