Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Mental Health Aboard Merchant Vessels Prompts Self Help Information for Crews

New Series Aimed at Boosting Psychological Wellness at Sea
Shipping News Feature
UK – WORLDWIDE – Following the popularity of it's recent 'Crew Health' campaign the Shipowners' Club has extended its partnership with the International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) to provide a series of Good Mental Health Guides. The first booklet in this series draws together some of the best evidence available to provide practical ideas on how to maximise psychological wellbeing at sea and address a problem that stalks the decks of merchant vessels, freight and passenger carriers alike, around the world.

ISWAN is an organisation dedicated to the relief of need, hardship or distress of seafarers, to raise awareness of crew-related illness and to assist vessel owners and operators in mitigating against related incidents. In the ‘Changes in Seafarers’ Health 2011-2016’ summary report published by Helen Sampson and her colleagues at the Seafarers International Research Centre, Cardiff University, it was identified that:

”We have seen a deterioration in some aspects of seafarers’ mental health. Scores relating to questions drawn from the validated General Health Questionnaire suggest that there has been an increase in psychiatric disorders amongst serving seafarers. [We recommend] ship operators pay more attention to the protection of seafarers’ mental health and are encouraged to find ways of providing better access to those facilities and amenities on board which serve to allow seafarers to relax and to achieve a degree of mental restoration.”

The report has prompted the Shipowners’ Club to publish as part of ISWAN’s series of Good Mental Health Guides for Seafarers a downloadable .pdf ‘Psychological Well Being at Sea’ a document which gives some excellent advice on how to promote a better state of mind, indeed advice much of which is applicable in any other walk of life but with particular relevance to those on, or about to embark on, a long voyage.