Last month’s hijacking of the oil tanker Nave Andromeda just off the Isle of Wight highlighted the physical danger in which today’s seafarers can sometimes find themselves.
But it also brought into sharp focus the danger that can be inflicted on seafarers’ mental wellbeing, according to Mental Health Support Solutions.
The company’s managing director, Charles Watkins, is urging the industry to provide the necessary support for crew by investing in Psychological First Aid (PFA) for those suffering traumatic experiences.
“It is very important that physical needs and safety are assessed and restored after a traumatic event such as a vessel being hijacked, an event that can lead to a series of issues such as confusion, nightmares, psychogenic headaches, paranoid delusions and suicidal thoughts,” he says.
According to Watkins, while some seafarers may be fine and need little or no help to readjust, it’s important to have support available. He says the focus should be on a 360-degree support system that covers psychological care, medical care, logistics, financial issues, and spiritual or faith-based help.