The project will examine risk factors associated with seafarers’ stress levels, depression and anxiety to reduce stigma around mental illness in shipping as well as the suffering of those affected. The ultimate goal is to identify factors in the sector that could be changed to reduce the risks and opportunities for intervention to prevent harm.

In spite of the enormous developments in human achievement with new technologies that increase efficiency and expand our understanding of the world, most working people have less time and more stress. Work-life balance is much touted but rarely achieved in a world of job insecurity and pressure to do everything quicker and cheaper.

The question of whether seafarers get more depressed than their land-based colleagues, due to the unique working environment, has yet to be determined.

On the Day of the Seafarer and on all days, let us value our seafarers and be mindful that the tough image of sailing the high seas, battling the elements, might hide an array of inner worries and vulnerability.