Recognizing mental health issues is the first step in accessing the support needed to recover, the Club notes. Once you have noticed the signs, it is important to take action: encourage and stimulate your crew members and draw their attention to the prevention of mental health issues in meetings ; Identify what you want to achieve, set timeframes and involve key personnel; Organise an event to celebrate and announce the plan to your crew.
“If you notice a fellow colleague or crewmember experiencing any one or more of these signs, on a regular basis, or constantly over a two week period, or if you are concerned about your own mental health, please talk to someone. Tell the Master or a senior officer and get help”, the UK P&I Club states.
Also, further support is available from ISWAN’s SeafarerHelp and the Sailors’ SocietyWellness at Sea App.
The UK P&I Club lists the following physical & behavioral symptoms as signs of mental health issues:
- Suffering from frequent minor illnesses, headaches or stomach upsets
- Difficulty sleeping or constant tiredness or feeling of fatigue
- Feeling run down
- Lack of care over appearance
- Sudden weight loss or gain
- Minor physical ailments
- Irritability,aggression or tearfulness
- Loss of humour
- Indecision, inability to concentrate on tasks , increased errors, missing deadlines or forgetting tasks • Increased consumption of caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes and/or sedatives
- Loss of confidence
- Difficulty remembering things
- Becoming withdrawn, not participating in conversations or social activities and spending increasing amounts of time alone in cabins
- Disruptive behaviour
- Poor job performance
- An employee who is normally punctual frequently arriving late