While life onboard with its harsh workload and isolation had already an adverse effect on crews’ mental health, the COVID-19 pandemic with its travel restrictions and limited mobility brought an even bigger anxiety to seafarers, who referred to their vessels as ‘floating prisons’.
The World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th is more relevant than ever amid this year’s unprecedented experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, which left thousands of seafarers stranded onboard for prolonged periods away from family, adding to already emerging issue of crew mental health.
Seafarer UK’s Chief Executive Officer, Catherine Spencer, notes the pandemic has negatively impacted seafarers’ mental health and wellbeing. Although there are helpful resources to support them, many appear to be trying hard to overcome what is being described as a ‘crew change crisis. Hence, Seafarers UK has released additional £2 million from reserves to support seafarers in need and their families.
Mental health issues among seafarers is an increasing area of concern, AMSA notes, considering that long periods of time separated from family and friends, long work hours, shift work and fatigue, along with the general operational hazards of seafaring, can all play their part in creating a stressful environment.
Mission to Seafarers published the latest Seafarers Happiness Index Q2 focusing on the continuous impact of COVID-19 on the welfare of seafarers and their families.
To assist seafarers and their mental wellbeing in coping with the challenges imposed by COVID-19 pandemic, BIMCO compiled a list of useful resources to enable seafarers to seek free, immediate and direct help.
The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) drew attention to the ongoing work of ISWAN and its members, amid an ongoing crisis affecting mental health of thousands of seafarers globally.
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 COVID-19 pandemic led to crew change restrictions and challenges for the seafarers, resulting to immense stress. Thus, Christopher L. Hall – Managing Director (Hong Kong), SCB Management Consulting Services, Ltd. and Business Development Director (Asia) – offers five things that the industry can do now to help seafarers cope with feelings of anxiety and/or depression.
Amid COVID-19 crisis, Mission to Seafarers recently launched a new campaign focusing on the major welfare issues that seafarers face during the pandemic.
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- Cyber Security
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