Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Population Health and Health Policy

The Impact of Mental and Emotional Stress on Rural Employment Patterns

Duration: 
1/1/2004 - 1/31/2005
Principal Investigator: 
David Hartley, Ph.D., M.H.A.
Abstract: 

Although society provides supplemental security income to individuals with serious and persistent mental illness, those with less serious emotional disorders or sub-acute mental distress lack eligibility for these benefits. However, poor mental health status can result in significant negative effects on the worker, his or her family, and the local community and its economy. Given the smaller, less diversified rural economy, the lack of Employee Assistance Programs and mental health insurance benefits, and the shortage of mental health providers, the effects of mental health problems are likely to be exacerbated in rural areas. In this study, we will use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to investigate how mental health symptoms affect employment patterns, and the extent to which these effects differ by rural and urban residence.
Specifically, we will address the following questions:

Are there rural-urban differences in the prevalence of mental health problems, ranging from clinical conditions to sub-acute, undiagnosed mental and emotional stress among labor force participants/nonparticipants and employed/unemployed persons?
To what extent do mental and emotional symptoms and their severity predict lower job retention and longer unemployment spells and are there rural-urban differences?
Does the impact of mental and emotional health symptoms differ according to the type of job transition (left for another job, left for no new job, remained in same job but at reduced hours) and are there rural-urban differences?

Developing a better understanding of how mental health problems affect rural workers will not only assist health and human service providers in targeting interventions to workers needing support, but will also inform employers about how they might help employees continue to function productively on the job.

Start Date: 
Thu, 2004-01-01
End Date: 
Mon, 2005-01-31
Legacy Muskie ID: 
2 127

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Dr. Ziller to speak on Rural Implementation and Impact of Medicaid Expansions

The impact of the ACA Medicaid expansion on health care coverage and access in rural areas is largely unknown and will depend on the different state policy contexts in which the expansions are implemented and on existing system capacity. Understanding how many rural residents are likely to become newly eligible for Medicaid under the ACA, as well as their characteristics and health status, will provide important information to aid policymakers in structuring outreach and enrollment strategies and ensuring that the healthcare infrastructure and delivery systems in rural areas can address the needs of these individuals.

On March 18th, Dr. Ziller, Deputy Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center at the University of Southern Maine, will present via a SHARE webinar, nationally representative information identifying rural-urban differences among low-income non-elderly adults (18 to 65) in the following areas:

  • Medicaid eligibility, pre-ACA
  • Medicaid participation, pre-ACA
  • New Medicaid eligibility in 2014

Dr. Ziller will also analyze the characteristics associated with any rural-urban differences in the above areas. Characteristics to be considered include age, gender, employment, education, income, Census region, health status, current relationship to primary care provider, primary care supply, and FQHC availability.

This webinar is based on Dr. Ziller's research under a State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE) grant to inform federal and state implementation of the ACA Medicaid expansion by estimating the size and characteristics of the rural population likely to be newly eligible.
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