The film, produced by Marine Media Enterprises with the support of Columbia Ship Management, Petronav Ship Management, ISWAN and Steamship Mutual, is the second in a series of films focused on seafarers' welfare during the pandemic.
Key worries for seafarers amid COVID-19
Potential worries that can arise for seafarers include:
- “Will I be able to leave the ship and return home for my scheduled leave?”
- “How are my family and friends coping with the threat and the effects of the virus? Will they stay safe and well?”
- “How much personal risk of infection will I be exposed to when the ship reaches its next port?”
- “What will be the effect of the pandemic upon my company’s business and my future employment prospects?”
It is perfectly natural for seafarers to have these worries – it is human nature – but it is vitally important that those worries are managed. If they are not, they can affect physical wellbeing since mental resilience and physical wellbeing are mutually dependent. If one is weakened the other will be too.
How to maintain mental health onboard
The film provides some valuable tips for maintaining mental health:
- Be proud of the way you fulfill your function within the team that operates the ship. You are helping to keep the world economy going.
Your skills, talent and education of the work should give you a great deal of self-confidence and pride. With this in mind, there are ways of boosting your morale and make life feel easier.
- When your mood is good, take part in a variety of enjoyable activities in addition to your regular duties.
The more you interact with others, including talking about your concerns and feelings, the better you and others will feel.
- It is helpful to set realistic targets each day, concerning work and training, but you can also set goals for exercising and connecting with others.
Achievement increases the dopamine and purpose for activity increases serotonin. These two hormones are essential for maintaining a good mood.
- If you get together with your fellow crew members, you can plan activities, such as game evenings, karaoke and movie nights.
Doing things with others creates the subconscious feeling of bonding, resulting in the production of another important hormone in the brain: Oxytocin, which increases your resilience to stress.
- Talk to your family and friends when you are missing them
- Take enough rest and balance work and rest hours
- Call help-lines from trusted organizations
- Don't exaggerate the situation