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Stepping up: the need for proactive employer investment in safeguarding seafarers’ mental health and wellbeing

Sampson, Helen and Ellis, Niel 2020. Stepping up: the need for proactive employer investment in safeguarding seafarers’ mental health and wellbeing. Maritime Policy and Management 10.1080/03088839.2020.1867918
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In recent years mental health has been identified as a significant issue for the global workforce. In the shipping industry charities and insurance companies have raised concerns about seafarers’ mental health and wellbeing and have suggested a range of largely reactive and behaviour-based remedies and risk mitigation strategies. This paper contributes new data to the existing debates around seafarers’ welfare and mental health by exploring stakeholder and employer attitudes and approaches to the mental health and wellbeing of seafarers working aboard deep-sea cargo vessels, alongside the views and perceptions of active seafarers themselves. Unusually, the central focus is on what seafarers themselves consider to be supportive of their own happiness and wellbeing. Drawing on these two major sources of data the paper recommends a range of practical steps which should be taken by employers to mitigate seafarers’ exposure to a variety of risk factors associated with unhappiness and poor mental health. These recommendations relate to the shipboard provision of communication facilities, food, recreational facilities, shore-leave, work to leave ratios, bullying and harassment, furnishings, officer training and the provision of counselling services.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles
ISSN: 0308-8839
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 December 2020
Date of Acceptance: 11 December 2020
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2021 16:11

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