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Yale study warns of dangerous mental stress among seafarers

Seafarers are exposed to dangerously
high levels of mental stress, a new study carried out by Yale University and
commissioned by the Seafarers Trust has revealed.

After questioning seafarers across
the world the researchers found that within the previous two weeks 25 percent
of them had suffered depression and 17 percent had experienced anxiety.

What is more, 20 percent of all those
asked had contemplated suicide or self-harm on several or all those days.

For the first time the study also
identified a link between depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts and a
likely increase in injury and illness. The factors associated with these mental
states included violence and bullying, lack of job satisfaction, and not
feeling valued.

“This morning the report’s lead
author personally briefed the ITF Seafarers’ Committee on the findings of this
far-reaching and important study. It was a sobering occasion; the gravity of
his team’s discoveries is evident,” Dave Heindel, Chair of the Seafarers’
Trust, commented.

“They should be taken as a call to
action by everyone in the shipping industry.”

The study has also identified ways
that maritime training institutes, companies, employers, P&I clubs and
trade unions can address the problems. 

These include enhanced support for
cadets, a de-stigmatization of mental health within company culture, and a
recognition for the need for interventions to address workplace violence.
World Maritime News.

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