Industry Partnering and Support


Significant work  is being undertaken across the industry and beyond, to promote good practice and support mental wellbeing. Included here, is a collection of services and online assistance that may be helpful for orgnisations, seafarers (current and former) and their families, to obtain information and support.


Policy and guidelines for mental wellbeing [for ship managers]

In addition to the resources highlighted within ‘[Seafarers] information and guides for mental wellbeing’ the ‘General helplines and online support’, there are many others available to support both companies and individuals around mental wellbeing, including the following:

International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) A membership organisation which works to promote and support the welfare of seafarers globally. 

Document Title Overview Key Author

Guidelines to shipping companies on mental health awareness 

Clear policies help set a positive company culture, promote awareness of the importance of good health and wellbeing of employees, and provide clarity to employees on the support available.

UK Chamber of Shipping & Nautilus
Welfare management and mental wellness 2nd edition  Advice and recommendations for shore-side staff managing crew who may be experiencing stress as a result of prolonged service on board. INTERTANKO
Practical guidance for shipping companies on improving mental wellbeing  Practical steps to promote mental wellbeing for seafarers, which can also be applied to shore personnel. UK Chamber of Shipping & NMOHSC, Nautilus & RMT
Mentally healthy ships: policy and practice to promote mental health on board  This guide sets out to provide useful information for shipping and ship management companies on how best to devise and implement mental health policies and practices to promote and protect positive mental health shoreside and on board. Blackburn & ISWAN

MGN 505 (M) Human Element Guidance - Part 1: Fatigue and Fitness 

Information on causes of fatigue and guidance on good practice to prevent and manage fatigue. [also serves as notice to all commercial operators in UK waters] MCA
Wellbeing at  sea: a guide for organisations  ($) Practical guidance for optimal care of seafarers, which ultimately improves seafarer wellbeing and business efficiency onboard vessels. Available to purchase from The Stationary Office. MCA

Caring for seafarers’ mental wellbeing 

Shared insights on responding to both the routine and the extreme stressors that impact seafarers’ quality of life and safety onboard. The American Club & Seaman’s Church Institute
Fatigue guidelines: managing and reducing the risk of fatigue at sea  Simple information on the causes, consequences and management of fatigue.  Primarily aimed at managers/operators of Australian regulated vessels but can be applied to other maritime operations. AMSA

Guidance on Eliminating Shipboard Harassment and Bullying 

Assistance to develop policies and plans to eliminate harassment and bullying onboard ships, and involve its seafarers and / or seafarers’ organisations in this process ICS & ITF
Mariner health and wellness  Journal of safety and security at sea US Marine Safety and Security Council

Managing Traumatic Stress : Guidance for Maritime Organisations 

Information to develop a traumatic stress management policy or guideline Neil Greenberg,
Human Rights at Sea &
March on Stress
Best Practices Guide on Prevention of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in The US Merchant Marine  Guidance on seafarers’ responsibility to be respectful and actively participate in a work environment free of Sexual Assault, Harassment and other prohibited behaviours Ship Operations Cooperative Program


Policy and guidelines for mental wellbeing [for trainers]

Document Title Overview (for trainers) Key Author

A standard for seafarers’ mental health awareness and wellbeing training (eBook) 

($) Suggested criteria for the development of courses to help improve standards in the provision of mental health and wellbeing training for Seafarers’, available to purchase via Witherby Seamanship International Merchant Navy Training Board & Maritime Charities Group
Wellness at sea: a new conceptual framework for seafarer training  A conference paper explaining the new concept of Seafarer Wellness J Smith & Cape Peninsula University of Technology


Policy and guidelines for mental wellbeing [for trainers]

Document Title Overview (for trainers) Key Author

Best Management Practices: ICMA Guidance for Maritime Ministry During COVID-19 

General guidance to those port ministries still operating and to assist every station in forward planning.  International Christian Maritime Association
Guidelines for Implementing the Welfare Aspects of The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006  Provide practical assistance to governments in drafting their own national guidelines and contribute to the welfare and morale of seafarers. ITF & ICS


Information and guides for mental wellbeing [for seafarers]

There is lots of help and support available to help seafarers (current and former) and their families. 

Here you can find out more about organisations who provide guidance in a host of ways from helplines and online support, practical/ emotional and spiritual services, through to financial and legal advice and mental health resources.

Document Title Overview Key Author

Good mental health 

Section of the seafarers health information programme by ISWAN contains resources, including the two following practical self-help guides, available in various languages ISWAN
Psychological wellbeing at sea  Self-help guide explaining the meaning of positive mental health and psychological wellbeing, how to recognize the risks to wellbeing, and how to maximize psychological wellbeing. ISWAN

Steps to positive mental health 

Self-help guide detailing some skills, exercises and coping strategies to help deal with emotions when life becomes stressful or mood is low. ISWAN
Seafarer’s mental health and wellbeing: facilitator notes  Facilitator guide that accompanies a training package for exploring what seafarers can do to improve their mental health. Videotel in association with ISWAN

What’s on your mind? guidance for seafarer’s mental health awareness 

An overview of common risk factors of a developing mental health condition and the importance of recognising early warning signs. Recommended measures to prevent or treat an occurrence onboard.  The American Club
The mental health of seafarers  A guide to masters and officers to recognise the issues of seafarer’s depression. Melbourne Port Welfare Association, Rotary Club of Melbourne South & beyondblue
Looking after the mental health of seafarers  An information leaflet designed to help identify and assist a seafarer with depression [available in English, Simplified Chinese, Tagalog and Russian language] Melbourne Port Welfare Association, Rotary Club of Melbourne South & beyondblue

Psychological wellbeing at sea: a good mental health guide for seafarers 

An explanation of positive mental health and psychological wellbeing and the risks to wellbeing as a seafarer. A collection of practical ideas about how to maximise their psychological wellbeing.  Seafarers Health Information Programme, SeafarerHelp, Shipowners P&I and ISWAN
Health focus: mental health  A practical information guide with assessment and exercises for better mental health and stress reduction. UK P&I Club

Remaining resilient after traumatic events 

A post incident guide for victims, their family, colleagues and friends including common stress-related symptoms and some helpful hints. Human Rights at Sea & March on Stress

Medical handbook for seafarers

A manual to be used together with the possible medical consultation via Radio Medical. Help for the person in charge of treatment on board to choose the optimal treatment based on the symptoms and findings. Finish Institute of Occupational Health
Managing stress and sleeping well at sea   Self-guide to help seafarers understand stress and its effects.  Practical strategies to recognize stress and cope effectively.  Advice on how to manage fatigue at sea and get the most from your sleep. ISWAN
Maritime Wellbeing fatigue risk management programme  also within this website/App - further information on how to manage sleep, recognise fatigue and understand jetlag whilst at sea. Maritime Wellbeing


Helplines and online support



Sailors Society Wellness at Sea

Website and app providing resources and tools supporting companies and individuals with emotional, physical, intellectual, spiritual and social wellbeing.


Free, confidential, multi-lingual 24-hour helpline for all seafarers and families provided by ISWAN (International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network). Helpline for any issue including low mood, non-payment of wages, bullying and harassment, issues with repatriation, general contractual disputes, and requests for information.

Seafarers Hospital Society

[UK only] Website dedicated to meeting the health, welfare and advice needs of UK-based seafarers and their dependants including information on health and welfare grants, advice services, and health and fitness support.  Offers free access for UK-based seafarers to togetherall (formely the Big White Wall)

Seafarers' Advice and Information Line (SAIL)

[UK only] National telephone advice service provided for UK-based seafarers and families. Provides free, confidential and impartial advice and information on a wide range of issues including welfare, benefits, housing, employment etc.

Sailors’ Society Crisis Response Network A rapid response trauma care and counselling service for survivors of piracy attacks, natural disasters and crises at sea.
Contact your union

Where appropriate seafarers can also contact their unions, who also provide many aspects of support.


Well-known mental health charity that provides resources and advice to empower anyone struggling with their mental health. 

Togetherall   Get support, take control & feel better.  An online community of members, who support, help each other and share what’s troubling them in a safe, anonymous and stigma-free environment – monitored 24/7 by trained clinicians.  This support network allows members to self-help through peer support, guided support programmes, resources and advice.  Facility is also available for one to one online therapy with accredited counsellors and cognitive behavioural therapists.  Based on where you’re located there may be a subscription cost (e.g. free access for various UK* and NZ locations).
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)

 [UK Specific] A helpline (5pm–midnight, 365 days a year) for people, particularly men, who are down or have ‘hit a wall’ for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support.


Practical, emotional and spiritual services 



Mission to Seafarers 

Global network providing support for concerns such as money worries, mental health issues and loneliness, as well as piracy, shipwreck and abandonment. Offers practical support at their seafarer centres when facilities are not otherwise. Also able to provide spiritual and emotional support onboard.

Sailors’ Society 

Global network providing practical help and pastoral care to seafarers and families including welfare support, access to education and financial help through grants and support for families in need. Their free app, Wellness at sea, contains self-help resources for seafarers  to stay physically and mentally fit.

Stella Maris (formerly Apostleship of the Sea (AoS)) 

The largest ship-visiting charity in the world with a global network of over 1,000 chaplains and volunteers in 334 ports spread across 59 countries. Conducts around 70,000 ship visits a year to provide welfare services, advice, friendship, practical and pastoral care to all seafarers, regardless of nationality, belief or race. Provides "a friendly face in a foreign land, someone the seafarer can trust, speak to and confide in".

The Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) 

[North America Specific] Mariners agency undertaking ship visits on the inland river waterways of the United States and the Gulf of Mexico. They provide the facility to connect with home and services such as education, pastoral care and legal help. Seafarers’ centres are available in the Port of New York and New Jersey.


Financial and legal advice

For financial and legal advice (debt, benefits, housing, pensions etc.) in addition to those already highlighted in ‘General helplines and online support’: 

SCI’s Center for Seafarers’ Rights 

Global, free legal-aid service devoted exclusively to the needs of merchant mariners.

Seafarer Support  - [UK only] 

Guidance service (search engine) to find available support including advice or finding financial support


Financial and legal guidance and support can also be sought via the services highlighted within ‘Practical, emotional and spiritual services’: 


Peer interaction

For online social networks to connect with your peers, read current industry news and updates or join discussion forums to have your say: 




One of the world’s largest online networks of the seafaring community, with more than 112,000 members

A maritime portal dedicated to providing updates with the aim to enhance maritime safety and promote sustainable shipping


A maritime and offshore website dedicated to building an interactive community of maritime professionals with more than 600,000 unique viewers per month

Seafarers’ Links (The Silver Line) 

[UK only] Free, regular, group conversation telephone calls run by trained facilitators for seafarers, families or carers with seafaring connections.  They offer an easy way to connect with people who have a maritime background, to make new friends, and to share stories and experiences of life at sea.


Please note

Maritime Wellbeing is not a medical organisation and all content is provided on this website for information only.  Maritime Wellbeing is not responsible for the content of external websites or resources. Maritime Wellbeing does not accept any liability for errors or omissions in any content provided on this website.  Maritime Wellbeing does not accept liability whatsoever for any loss or damage directly or indirectly arising from the use or inability to use any of the information on this website.  The content available on this website must not be used, reproduced, copied or distributed for commercial purposes.

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