Seafarer Suicide Rates Triple!


Recently the BBC released a film which shows the life of a seafarer and the pressures faced by them onboard.

Narrative style:

The film features the life of a seafarer expressed through the eyes of an Ethiopian seafarer Amaha Senu, and also highlights the pressures faced by people working at sea.

The storyline depicts the life of Amaha Senu, who left his home in Ethiopia with the dreams of becoming a merchant seafarer, attracted by the financial opportunities but shortly afterwards he begins regretting his actions and contemplates on committing suicide.

Suicide rates triple among seafarers:

According to the reports, it is alarming to note that the suicide rate among seafarers has tripled since 2014 and has become the most common cause of death at sea. Crew deaths attributed to suicide have increased from 4.4 percent in 2014-2015 to 15.3 percent in 2015-2016.

According to research published by Swansea University in 2013, the period between 2001 to 2005, merchant seafarers scored the second highest level of suicides amongst all professions, after coal miners. As of today, the rate of suicide among International seafarers has tripled when compared to offshore workers.

Helpline for seafarers:

A 24-hour multilingual helpline called ‘SeafarerHelp’, has been set up by ISWAN to offer immediate response to seafarer calls via its helpline. It has also recently been made available on mobile messaging service WhatsApp.

Stress management service:

A publication Managing Traumatic Stress launched with the guidance for Maritime Organisations is also available online to provide top-level guidance to senior management to help improve the mental health of seafarers. It offers education and evidence-based approaches specifically designed for the maritime industry.

The guidance is authored by Professor Neil Greenberg, Managing Director of March on Stress and Professor of Defence Mental Health at King’s College London and published by The Nautical Institute in partnership with the charity Human Rights at Sea.

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Source: BBC Stories, Seafarer Times


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