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Mental Health onboard: a quick test


Mental health refers to your emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It encompasses your ability to manage stress, relate to others, make decisions, and handle challenges. Good mental health contributes to overall well-being and enables you to cope with life's ups and downs, work productively, and maintain healthy relationships.



Quick Self-Check for Mental Health (Seafarers):

Please note that this quick self-check is not a substitute for professional evaluation. If you have concerns about your mental health, it's important to seek guidance from a mental health professional.

Answer the following questions honestly:


1. Emotional Well-being:

  • Are you feeling consistently sad, hopeless, or overwhelmed?

  • Have you lost interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy?

2. Energy and Motivation:

  • Do you often feel tired, fatigued, or lacking energy?

  • Are you finding it hard to get motivated even for things you need to do?

3. Sleep Patterns:

  • Are you experiencing changes in your sleep patterns, such as insomnia or oversleeping?

4. Appetite and Eating Habits:

  • Have your eating habits changed significantly? Are you overeating or losing your appetite?


5. Concentration and Focus:

  • Are you having difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or thinking clearly?

6. Physical Symptoms:

  • Have you noticed unexplained physical symptoms, such as headaches or body aches?

7. Social Interaction:

  • Are you withdrawing from social activities or avoiding interactions with friends and family?

8. Negative Thoughts:

  • Are you having persistent negative thoughts about yourself, life, or your future?


9. Irritability and Anger:

  • Are you becoming easily irritable, frustrated, or experiencing uncharacteristic anger?

10. Thoughts of Self-Harm or Suicide:

Are you having thoughts of hurting yourself or thoughts of suicide?


Scoring:

  • If you answered "Yes" to several of these questions and are experiencing significant distress, it's important to seek professional help.

  • If you're concerned about your mental health, consider reaching out to a mental health professional, counselor, or a medical doctor.

Remember that mental health is important and seeking help when needed is a sign of strength. It's okay to reach out for support, whether it's through your company's resources, a mental health hotline, or a local mental health provider.


Dealing with poor mental health while onboard as a seafarer can be challenging, but there are strategies you can implement to take care of yourself and seek support. Here are some steps to consider:

1. Recognize and Acknowledge Your Feelings:

  • Understand that it's okay to have bad days and experience negative emotions. Recognize and acknowledge your feelings without judgment.

2. Reach Out for Support:

  • If you're struggling, don't hesitate to talk to a trusted colleague, friend, or family member onboard. Sometimes, sharing your feelings can provide relief and help you feel less isolated.

3. Utilize Onboard Resources:


Some vessels offer mental health resources, counseling services, or designated personnel who can provide support. Be aware of these resources and take advantage of them if available.


4. Practice Self-Care:

  • Engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. This could include reading, listening to music, journaling, or spending time in nature.

5. Maintain a Routine:

  • Establishing a daily routine can provide a sense of structure and stability, which can be beneficial for your mental well-being.

6. Stay Physically Active:

  • Regular exercise can have a positive impact on your mood. Even simple activities like stretching or taking short walks on deck can help.

7. Prioritize Sleep:

  • Aim for sufficient sleep to help regulate your mood and manage stress. Create a comfortable sleeping environment and practice good sleep hygiene.

8. Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques:

  • Techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness can help you manage stress and stay present in the moment.

9. Limit Stressors:


Identify and manage sources of stress to the best of your ability. This could include setting boundaries, delegating tasks, or seeking assistance when needed.

10. Stay Connected:

  • Stay in touch with loved ones through emails, calls, or messaging apps. Feeling connected to your support network can be comforting.

11. Set Realistic Expectations:

  • Don't put undue pressure on yourself to be constantly productive or upbeat. Understand that your well-being matters, and it's okay to prioritize self-care.

12. Seek Professional Help:

  • If your mental health deteriorates significantly or you're experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide, it's crucial to seek professional help immediately. Speak to a mental health professional, counselor, or medical doctor.

Remember that you're not alone in facing challenges with mental health. Many seafarers experience similar feelings and struggles. Seeking help is a sign of strength, and taking care of your mental well-being is just as important as your physical health. If your company offers mental health services or access to counselors, consider utilizing these resources as well.


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