The Effects of Climate Conditions on Rural Mental Health

Document Type


Publication Date



Health Services Administration


The Spring 2020 Quality in Health Care 406 class is partnering with industry leaders to measure factors affecting quality in South Dakota health delivery. “The Effects of Climate Conditions on Rural Mental Health” seeks to address the ways that adverse climate conditions determine how farmers are able to plant, grow, and harvest crops, later influencing rural mental health. Recent weather conditions disrupt the usual timelines farmers use to plant, grow, and harvest their crops. Factors such as flooding, hail, droughts, and other increased climate extremities effect estimated yields and increase the dependance on crop insurance to cover revenue shortfalls. These climate conditions are threatening the livelihood of many rural Americans and families. Reduced crop yields decrease revenue for many family farms, increasing reliance on crop insurance, and threatening the continuance of multi-generational family farms. Each of these factors, or a combination of those mentioned, may increase the chances of experiencing a mental health disorder among farmers in South Dakota. Mental health disorders can lead to severe emotional health problems such as unhappiness, decreased enjoyment of life, and possibly suicide. Many individuals are already struggling with mental health and we want to create more awareness of farmer mental health disorders and find resources for farmers to utilize that are struggling with mental health. The findings of this project will be presented on a poster with an oral presentation displayed at Ideafest.

First Advisor

Carole South-Winter

Research Area

Health Services Administration

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