An international research team, led by the University of the Philippines Visayas, looked at the factors that affected the mental health and wellbeing of seafarers
A pilot study, titled “Mental Health Interventions for International Seafarers during the COVID-19 Pandemic” was conducted to gain insights into the psychosocial support provided to seafarers since the start of the pandemic. The study was funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s small grants programme.
Data was gathered through an in-depth interview and an online survey. The survey focused on investigating the varying support and interventions that companies and other people, such as their families and NGOs and their peers, provided to seafarers during the pandemic, and how it affected the psych and morale of seafarers during this period.
It takes a collective effort to support seafarers
The findings show that interventions from both their companies and other people were equally important to their mental health and wellbeing.
For company interventions, what positively impacted seafarers were, facilitating timely crew changes (79.8%), provision of immediate family support (67.7%), increase in Wi-Fi data allowance (63.5%) and the provision of sufficient and high-quality PPE (63.3%). For interventions outside of the company, seafarers were encouraged through communicating with their families (87.7%), being vaccinated (74.1%) and having a positive and collegial atmosphere on board (73.7%).
From the results, the factors that instilled positivity in seafarers were clearly intertwined. It was a collective effort by the company, fellow seafarers (peers) and the people outside of the company’s management, such as families and friends and NGOs, to help seafarers get through this difficult period of uncertainty.
World Maritime University
Crewing Online Media Team
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