A Filipino crew of the cruise ship ‘Harmony of the Seas’ was found dead outside her cabin in a suspected suicide case, bringing again the issue of mental health of suspended seafarers in the spotlight.
The 28-year-old Mariah Jocson “killed herself after learning that repatriation flights were suspended again”, reports by Philippine News Agency reveal.
At the time of the incident, the vessel was off Bridgetown, Barbados, awaiting completion of crew repatriation operations. Unofficial local reports say the victim was found hanging from her cabin’s balcony.
After the incident, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque called relevant government agencies to check the state of Filipinos’ mental health.
We ask relevant agencies of the government to look into mental anguish of those adversely impacted by the COVID-19. The worldwide pandemic is taking an emotional toll on everyone and we must help our countrymen how to cope with stress, fear and worry in this challenging time,
Concerned authorities are now investigating the matter.
Roque also noted that the government is looking for ways to further expedite the return of overseas Filipino workers from all over the world.
At least 50,000 overseas Filipino workers have returned to Philippines due to job loss, since start of the pandemic.
COVID-19 has a triggered a global discussion on mental health of seafarers, thousands of whom remained stranded onboard even after their contract had ended, due to travel restrictions.