We do not want any seafarer to feel unsafe or miserable at work and want to create a zero-incident industry where every seafarer returns home safely to their loved ones. When seafarers are in good physical and mental health, when they feel safe and cared for, we see happier and more motivated crews with fewer accidents and incidents.
We all have a role to play in making our ships safer and happier places to work. The short video below introduces the Maritime Wellbeing programme and some of the practical tips, tools and strategies for how to improve and raise awareness of mental and physical health.
Maritime Wellbeing introduction video
(click here to see a Vimeo version of the video)
We have developed this programme as part of our efforts to support seafarer health, and to improve safety at sea. As outlined on 'about the programme', the Maritime Wellbeing programme is based on research carried out by independent third parties, discussions with other safety-critical industries such as the military or aviation, as well as drawing on Shell shipping & Maritime's own experience in the maritime industry. However it should be noted that Maritime Wellbeing is not a medical organisation and all the content is provided for information only.
The programme focusses on six areas that our research shows have the biggest impact on seafarers’ wellbeing:
|It’s important for leaders to set a supportive tone and culture onboard, as well as have the skills to recognise issues around mental health and know how to deal with them.
|It’s helpful to know how we can build our mental and emotional strength to cope better. If life feels too difficult though, it’s OK to say, “I’m not OK” and find help. When things are hard, using the support of people close to us (e.g. family, friends, colleagues etc) can make a big difference to improving mental health
|Whatever our rank, the work we do onboard (e.g. how much work we are given, the tasks we do, levels of responsibility, how we are rewarded for our work, job security etc.) can all affect our mental health – in both good ways and bad.
|There are some things about life onboard that can impact our mental wellbeing but cannot always be controlled, e.g. delays to returning home, heat in the engine room, vibrations etc. To help our mental wellbeing, it is good to focus on things like food, exercise and sleep, which will make us feel healthy.
|Being an involved member of the crew, by looking out for others to make sure everyone feels welcome and included in life onboard, can really help mental wellbeing.
|To make real lasting changes, it is important that the industry works together. We are working with other organisations that are providing help and advice for seafarers and their families. Collectively, we are also delivering training, influencing regulations and ways of talking about mental health, to improve the lives of people working in the shipping industry for years to come