Mental health problems on board ships is a key area of concern for The Mission to Seafarers and for seafarers and their families. There are a range of mental health conditions that Mission port chaplains are professionally trained to deal with including depression, despair, loneliness, workplace stress and post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Many mental health conditions are treatable if tackled quickly and effectively by health care professionals. Unfortunately mental health problems are still a taboo subject in many cultures and difficult to diagnose at sea, when other factors may be involved, such as alcohol or drug problems.

Mission chaplains offer friendship and support to all seafarers when they come into port. Ship-visiting services are particularly important to safeguarding mental health, as are our Mission Flying Angel Seafarers' Centres. Good mental health depends upon having proper rest and relaxation in the workplace.

The Mission to Seafarers' port chaplains have been professionally trained in advanced mental health care and post-traumatic stress counselling by expert psychological trauma consultant Dr Marion Gibson of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation USA (opens in new window).