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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Hartley Retires as Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center

David Hartley, PhD

David Hartley, PhD, the Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center (MRHRC) and a Research Professor of Public Health has announced that he will be retiring from the University of Southern Maine August 31st, 2014. David came to the University in 1994 and has directed the MRHRC since 2004. Andy Coburn, PhD, Research Professor of Public Health, will take over as the new MRHRC Director. Erika Ziller, PhD continues in her role as Deputy Director. David has had a distinguished career in rural health and rural health research, and has made lasting contributions to the field with his work on rural behavioral health, rural disparities and health, and rural active living.

A celebration will be scheduled in early fall to honor David and his many contributions to the field and the University.

 

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