Seafarers show sign of depression

A MENTAL health report has revealed more than a quarter of seafarers go through depression but most won’t ask for help. The study was presented at Sailors’ Society’s Wellness at Sea conference on March 16, London.

The study of more than 1000 seafarers was carried out by international maritime charity Sailors’ Society and Yale University, with more than one in six of the respondents coming from the UK.

According to the findings, 26 per cent of seafarers said they had felt “down, depressed or hopeless” on several days over the previous two weeks..

Furthermore, the seafarers said the quality and amount of food on board could have a big impact on their mental health, alongside isolation from their families and length of their contracts.

Nearly half (45 per cent) of the seafarers who reported symptoms of depression said they had not asked anybody for help. Around one-third said they had turned to family and/or friends, but only 21 per cent said they had spoken to a colleague, despite spending months on a ship with them, the study finds.

Maritime charity Sailors’ Society, which celebrated its 200th anniversary this month, works with seafarers in 91 ports around the world, offering counseling and support to those struggling with depression.

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