Seafarers Mental Health & Well-being

Our Mission to Improve Mental Health at Sea

One of the key areas of concern for The Mission to Seafarers are the mental health problems experienced by seafarers on board ships.

Seafarers’ mental health issues can be sparked by poor conditions and long working hours, as well as money worries and even the loneliness which comes with spending so much time away from family and friends back home.

We feel that it is only right to provide as much support as possible to improve seafarers’ mental health and well-being given the sacrifices that they make to keep our global economy running. Seafarers are essential key workers who often go underappreciated for their efforts, and it is important that we are there to lend help and support whenever it is needed most.

How Are We Improving Seafarer Mental Health?

Our chaplains and valued volunteers are always on hand to provide practical, emotional and spiritual guidance to support seafarers’ mental health and well-being.

We deliver help and support on land and on-board ships as well as providing access to Wi-Fi services and SIM cards to help connect seafarers to their loved ones back home. We also provide a listening ear or can offer a prayer whenever seafarers need some support.

Our port-based chaplains are on hand and ready to support seafarers all over the world. Each has been professionally trained in advanced mental health care and post-traumatic stress counselling by the experienced and respected psychological trauma consultant Dr Marion Gibson of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation USA.

Any volunteers who liaise directly with seafarers are equally as well trained and equipped to provide the right kind of support to deal with the issues which are most commonly affecting those at sea. If you want to make a real difference, then you too can help us in our mission to improve mental health at sea. Find out how by visiting our volunteer opportunities page.

How Do We Measure Mental Health at Sea?

Our Seafarers Happiness Index provides a quarterly summary on mental health at sea as well as other issues faced by seafarers.

Asking 10 key questions and distributed to seafarers globally, it serves as an important barometer of the thoughts and feelings that seafarers have about their lives at sea. Questions focus on a range of issues, from mental health and well-being, to working life and family contact.

The results are collected and published each quarter in order to get a snapshot as to how seafarers are feeling about the industry in which they work. This enables us to gain regular updates on the effectiveness of our work, as well as helping to highlight any new issues which impact on seafarers mental health and well-being.

You can now complete our survey or read over past Seafarers Happiness Index reports online.

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