Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Department

School of Journalism and Broadcasting

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, male farmers die by suicide at nearly twice the rate of the general population. My research focuses on understanding the factors contributing to this trend and identifying potential solutions, with a specific focus on the Commonwealth of Kentucky. I have collected qualitative data through video interviews with political leaders, scholars, and youth who are active in the agriculture community. These individuals have identified several key stressors, including stigma, a lack of healthcare providers in rural areas, financial insecurity, a lack of appreciation from the public, and uncertainty due to decisions made by political actors who do not understand agriculture. Among the potential solutions are the creation of public awareness campaigns, increased training for health providers about physical manifestations of stress, and the creation of a Kentucky hotline through which farmers can receive assistance for a variety of issues, such as financial planning and mental health. This research, compiled in a documentary, is significant because of its potential to educate farmers, policymakers, and the general public. Without awareness, the Commonwealth cannot adequately address this public health issue.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Bradley Pfranger, M.A.

Disciplines

Broadcast and Video Studies | Journalism Studies | Mental and Social Health

A Hard Row to Hoe_Suicide Among KY Farmers.mov (1216260 kB)
A Hard Row to Hoe: Suicide Among Kentucky Farmers

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