search.noResults

search.searching

saml.title
dataCollection.invalidEmail
note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
MENTAL HEALTH, STRESS AND WELLBEING ALL AT SEA


How are seafarers faring in an age of mental wellbeing? We hear from Richard Turner, CEO of Tapiit Live, the maritime technology business that provides livestreamed, interactive training at sea.


Having been overlooked and considered taboo for many years, the issue of mental health is steadily emerging from the corners of schools, workplaces and homes, where it had been left in darkness for so long. Major public figures such as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have engaged in campaigns to promote mental wellbeing; an effort that has been supported by government and non-governmental authorities around the world. Real strides have definitely been made, but there are still areas where the shadows remain, and progress is far from universal.


One such example is the maritime shipping industry. Despite the burden of long stretches at sea, and the obvious impact this has on a seafarer’s mental wellbeing, the issue of mental health has not been a particular focus. But with huge numbers of crew currently stranded on the waters due to COVID-19 restrictions, the issue is more pressing than ever before.


AN UNSEEN CRISIS With the deluge of pandemic-related news over the


last 12 months, you could be forgiven for not hearing about the 400,000 seafarers who have been stuck at sea for the past year. The dangers of COVID have led countries to prevent vessels from docking, leaving huge numbers of men and women stranded on the waters. And with most of their employment contracts having expired, many are without work or income.


The Neptune Declaration – signed by over 600 companies, including Shell, BP, Unilever and Rio Tinto – outlines some of the actions needed to tackle the crew change crisis, and also makes reference to the physical and mental implications of long stretches at sea. This point is echoed by The Maritime Industry of Jamaica (MAJ), which recently warned that the crisis risks creating a shortage of seafarers if exhausted crew decide to leave the industry rather than face another long period trapped at sea.


LONG-TERM ISSUES Clearly, there is an immediate crisis happening on our


waters, but poor mental health among seafarers is an issue that pre-dates the pandemic. The full extent of the problem is hard to quantify, partially because of a lack of research, but also as a dearth of population figures makes it difficult to construct fatality or suicide rates. However, the 2019 study by Helen Sampson and Neil Ellis found the modest availability of evidence to indicate higher levels of psychiatric disorders among seafarers compared to other occupations, with 37% in 2016 having experienced a recent-onset deterioration of mental health. They also pointed to the evidence that some ranks of seafarers are more likely to experience emotional exhaustion and ‘burnout’ than others.


34


Despite the difficulty of accurately populating suicide rates, the few studies that have attempted this present us with worrying results. Robert T.B. Iversen compared the 2011 UK suicide rate of 1.2% of all deaths to Roberts et al.’s findings of a 3.8% figure among a UK fleet 1986- 2009 and Borsch et al.’s 11% on a Danish fleet 1986-2011 to argue it to be ‘incontrovertible’ that suicide among seafarers is a serious concern.


The evidence is clearly problematic, but an understanding of life at sea perhaps provides a more emotional case. Maritime crews spend months at a time away from family and friends; live in cramped conditions alongside strangers; and often experience sleep deprivation due to long hours and loud noises. This, combined with the job insecurity that comes with contracted work, makes it wholly unsurprising that the above findings suggest loneliness, anxiety and depression to be more prevalent than in the rest of society. While the maritime industry is about as geographically far from most of our lives as it is possible to be, around one million people work on the waters at any one time, a figure far too high for this issue to remain in darkness for any longer.


PERHAPS FEAR LOSING THEIR JOBS IF THEY REVEAL THEIR MENTAL ISSUES, BROADER CULTURAL SHIFTS ARE REQUIRED.”


ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT Strides have been made within the industry, and


it certainly hasn’t remained sheltered from the sea change in public consciousness towards mental health. Training on the issue is steadily being normalised on vessels around the world, with e-learning the dominant method since it can be conducted while vessels are still at sea. But it is worth exploring the ways that this training could be improved in order to support the 400,000 seafarers who are currently stranded, as well as the millions of others who venture out every year.


To start, the focus of mental health training is understandably reactive, centred on things like how to spot the signs of anxiety and depression, and how to respond. But whilst this is hugely important, it neglects


www.tomorrowshs.com “IN AN INDUSTRY DOMINATED


BY MEN AND MADE UP LARGELY BY CONTRACT WORKERS WHO


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62