Psychological wellbeing at sea

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Following the success of our Crew Health campaign, the Club is pleased to announce that it will extend its partnership with the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) to provide a series of articles on Psychological Wellbeing at Sea.

Claims related to illness are frequently notified to the Club, with the number of claims reported remaining steady in number over the last five policy years. In an effort to combat this trend, the Club partnered with ISWAN, an international charity dedicated to the relief of need, hardship or distress of seafarers, to raise awareness of crew-related illness and to assist our Members in mitigating against related incidents.

As a partner, the Club contributed towards ISWAN’s Seafarers’ Health Information Project (SHIP), an initiative that promotes and distributes health information to shipping companies, seafarers’ centres and direct to seafarers themselves. Among the diverse topics covered, was guidance on acknowledging and addressing mental health on board. This guidance was further complemented by two articles written by Dr Olivia Swift of Royal Holloway, University of London, on The social isolation of seafarers and Digital technology and seafarers mental wellbeing.

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’. The report went on to 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 Shipowners’ Club is committed to bettering the standard for mental wellbeing on board. With this in mind, we are pleased to announce our decision to extend our partnership with ISWAN to provide a series of Good Mental Health Guides for Psychological Wellbeing at Sea.

The first booklet in this series draws together some of the best evidence available to give practical ideas on how to maximise a crew member’s Psychological Wellbeing at Sea.