On World Mental Health Day, October 10, 2018, the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) and the American P&I Club jointly released Caring for Seafarers’ Mental Wellbeing, a document published to provide guidance on responding to both routine and extreme stressors that affect the quality of life of mariners both ashore and afloat, and seeking to promote awareness generally of the importance of seafarer mental wellbeing.
Coming from our insurance and humanitarian perspectives respectively, the American Club and SCI share a passion and deep respect for the human factors involved in safe maritime commerce and quality of life for those who work on ships around the world. With nearly 300 years of combined maritime service, our organizations know intimately the triumphs, tragedies, and risks associated with maritime life. Together, we want to better understand the root causes of failure and the unique DNA of resilience embodied by seafarers at work 24/7/365 to support our modern way of life.
This document highlights our shared insights on responding to both the routine and the extreme stressors that impact seafarers’ quality of life and safety aboard ship. We hope it will inform a global conversation and stimulate new insights on seafarer skill and wellbeing.
SCI thanks the thousands of seafarers who have shared their personal stories with our staff amid routine, stressful, or tragic circumstances. While we have sought to serve their needs, we also have learned about the unique circumstances of life aboard ship, one seafarer at a time.
We stand on the shoulders of giants who have gone before us and who walk with us in our mission: to promote the safety, dignity, and improved working environment for the men and women serving in North American and international maritime communities through pastoral care, training, advocacy, and thought leadership.
In addition, numerous maritime organizations have supported recent initiatives to enhance understanding about the emotional – and psychological – highs and lows of life at sea, and thousands of seafarers have shared their personal stories with SCI staff amid routine, stressful – or even tragic – circumstances.
Caring for Seafarers’ Mental Wellbeing can be found in English, new and traditional Mandarin, and Russian, along with the list of global mental health resources.