Update on the Mariner Wellness Steering Committee

From The Masthead, March 2023
Phil Schifflin—CMA Director

Facilitated by SCI’s Center for Mariner Advocacy Director Phil Schifflin, the Mariner Wellness Steering Committee is currently comprised of three maritime professionals and one medical professional familiar with the health-related challenges faced by mariners in the inland marine industry. While the committee will eventually focus on a full range of issues, they will start with mental health and wellness, concentrating on identifying and possibly recruiting accomplished professionals in this field who may be interested in utilizing (or trained to utilize) their expertise within the maritime industry.

“Inland maritime is demanding and often dangerous work and definitely puts a strain on mariners,” said Phil. “Our committee noted the already great effort surrounding physical wellness issues—such as healthy eating, weight loss, and tobacco cessation—but also recognized a need for improvement with mental health and wellness issues in ways, perhaps, not tried before.”

The steering committee stems from the Summer 2021 Mariner Wellness Roundtable in Paducah, KY—which brought together inland maritime, medical, government, and protection/indemnity professionals. The overall goal and ongoing work for this committee will be to provide better insight and recommendations into the health-related challenges faced by inland and Gulf Coast mariners.