Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 238-244

Depression, suicidal ideation, and resilience among rural farmers in a drought-affected area of Trichy District, Tamil Nadu

1 Trichy SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Government Theni Medical College, Theni, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Hemalatha Kumarasamy
Department of Community Medicine, Trichy SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Tiruchirappalli - 621 105, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jnrp.jnrp_257_18

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Background: Changes in climatic conditions and other factors including trade and commerce have influenced agriculture worldwide. These factors have created a crisis among farmers. Objectives: The objective of this study was to find out the prevalence of depression and suicidal ideation, to measure the resilience, and to find out the factors that influence depression and resilience among farmers. Materials and Methods: A community-based cross-sectional analytical study was performed among farmers residing in a drought-affected area of Tiruchirappalli district of Tamil Nadu. The sample size was 191 and cluster sampling was used to select the participants. Structured, pretested questionnaires were used to find the prevalence of depression, suicidal ideation, and resilience among farmers. Pearson Correlation, Student's t-test, analysis of variance, and Pearson Chi-square test were used to identify the factors influencing depression and resilience. Results: A total of 194 farmers participated in the study. The mean age of the farmers was 46.68 ± 12.6 years, majority 64% were males and 89% were literates. Among the participants, 97.4% had some form of depression, and 67% had severe depression. About 60% of the farmers had suicidal ideation. Male farmers, farmers with few years of farming experience, and severe reduction in yield had a higher level of depression. Suicidal ideation was influenced by gender, small-scale farming, fewer years of experience in farming, and the impact of drought on yield. The mean resilience score was 49.4 ± 10. Gender and years of experience in farming had a significant association with resilience. Conclusion: High prevalence of depression and suicidal ideation and low level of resilience has been observed among the farmers. Interventions need to be provided for marginal and small-scale farmers, male farmers in the affected area to reduce the impact of drought in these farmers.

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