American Club: Prioritizing Mental Health At Sea

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  • The mental and physical well-being of seafarers is paramount to ensuring the safety and efficiency of maritime operations.
  • Dr. William Moore emphasizes the importance of creating a supportive work environment for seafarers, both onboard and onshore, to address mental health challenges effectively.

The American P&I Club, in collaboration with the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI), has released comprehensive guidance on addressing and managing seafarer mental health challenges. Recognizing the unique stressors faced by seafarers, the initiative aims to equip ship operators and crew members with the knowledge and resources needed to safeguard mental well-being.

Identifying Stressors and Promoting Support

Life at sea presents various stressors, including social, workplace, personal, and environmental factors, which can exacerbate mental health concerns. It is essential to break the stigma associated with mental health care, encouraging seafarers to seek assistance without fear of judgment or repercussions. Maritime stakeholders play a crucial role in fostering an environment where open communication about mental health is encouraged and supported.

Effective Preventative Measures

Proactive measures can be implemented to promote mental wellness among seafarers. These include providing access to mental health resources, establishing support structures such as buddy systems, ensuring quality living conditions onboard, and recognizing the contributions of seafarers. Additionally, training programs and drills empower crew members to respond effectively to challenging situations, fostering a culture of safety and support.

Encouraging Positive Practices

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance, engaging in physical activities, and promoting positive interactions among crew members are essential for fostering good mental health onboard. A comprehensive policy addressing bullying and harassment is vital for creating a safe and respectful workplace environment. Access to confidential counseling services should also be readily available to seafarers in need.

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Source: Safety4sea