New book guides on boosting seafarers’ mental wellbeing

Mental Health Support Solutions (MHSS) has published a book with tips and guidance on how seafarers can maintain or improve their mental wellbeing while aboard a vessel or onshore.

Mental Health Support Solutions (MHSS) has published a book with tips and guidance on how seafarers can maintain or improve their mental wellbeing while aboard a vessel or onshore.

The 30-page booklet, titled A Guide To Mental Health At Sea: How to prevent stress and depression, features helpful advice for crew members, particularly those struggling more so than usual amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sophia Onken, a partner and Clinical Psychologist at MHSS – which provides 24/7 professional mental health support across the maritime sector – recently revealed that the company had received more calls from crew members who were suffering mentally after being denied shore leave.  The rise in calls was linked to the renewed crew-change crisis caused by Covid-19 surges in countries such as India, forcing many seafarers to stay on board vessels beyond their contracts.

As Charles Watkins, Managing Director and Clinical Psychologist at MHSS, explains, the illustrated book explores issues such as the importance of sleep and finding time to pray, meditate or get some peace and quiet. Sharing issues or concerns with others and keeping an eye of colleagues who may be suffering from stress, anxiety or depression are also covered.

“Our book, created specifically for seafarers, provides helpful tips and easy ways to improve your wellbeing on board and ashore. Through simple methods, theories and illustrations, you will learn how to support your mental health at all times. You will discover ways to prevent the most common issues affecting the wellbeing of people around the world such as stress, anxiety and depression. This book will help you to adopt a more relaxed lifestyle, learn the importance and benefits of good mental health hygiene and explore ways of regulating stress levels in everyday life,” Watkins said.

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