Intertanko’s guide entitled ‘Crew Welfare Management and Mental Wellness’ tackles with mental health issues onboard, suggesting ways to encourage seafarers to overcome problems. In this context, Intertanko highlights how important is for the ship management to lead by example; the ship management team oughts to treat crew with respect, praise good work and offer support if there are any skill gaps.
Overall, a positive coaching style is vital. This means providing a working environment where seafarers can lower their anxiety and stress levels and where also their feedback is taken into consideration. In this regard, the ship management may explore the interventions suggested on the right page. At the same time though, ship management needs to establish effective communication with seafarers to reassure that all actions taken help them achieve their goals and improve crew wellness onboard.
Dos for effective communication
- Be nonjudgmental
- Give the person your undivided attention.
- Listen carefully
- Show concern by asking about their families and their wellbeing.
- Follow up, especially with those who show signs of weak coping ability
Dont’s for effective communication
x Belittling people’s worries or concerns
x Offering solutions or advice
x Sounding repetitive and giving out the same information
7 key interventions for life onboard
#1 Reach out
Encourage staying connected remotely with loved ones to check on their wellbeing.
#2 Events onboard
Organise engagement activities such as movie nights, dance & thematic parties, indoor team-building games.
Exercise is the all-natural treatment to fight stress and depression. Practicing yoga can also be an effective way.
#4 Healthy lifestyle
Adopt a healthier working style; manage work/ rest hours well and take proper healthy meals and breaks.
#5 Breathing exercises
Exhale deeply for eight seconds and then inhale through the nose for four seconds. Hold the breath for seven seconds, then repeat the steps.
#6 Good sleep
Keep an eye out for signs of stress, depression and anxiety among crew members.
#7 Look out
Ensure that seafarers are working together to look out for each other.