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Australian Seafarers' Welfare Council

Information for you

Guidance on eliminating shipboard harassment & bullying

The International Chamber of Shipping and the International Transport Workers Federation have released a new document for ship owners and seafarers, providing advice on how to recognise, report and eliminate harassment and bullying on board. If you would like to learn more please read the Guidance on eliminating shipboard harrassment and bullying.

Mental health

Seafarers often spend long times at sea separated from family and friends and are more likely to be affected by mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Physical health issues are governed by international standards which support seafarers but mental health issues are not and may go unnoticed. Shipboard factors that may influence mental health problems include:

  • increasing workloads and working hours
  • decreasing crews levels and monotony
  • being away from home and family
  • harassment and bullying
  • stress
  • fatigue
  • drug and alcohol abuse
  • loneliness
  • hazards of seafaring
  • lack of shore leave
  • lack of social cohesion onboard

There are services available to help you in Australia.

SeafarerHelp is an international service provided by the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN). In addition to SeafarerHelp, other services available in Australia include:

  • Hunterlink – a service for all seafarers in every Australian port. If you are anxious, lonely or troubled in any way you can contact Hunterlink for help or to simply speak to someone else away from the ship.
  • Beyond Blue booklet – provides Masters and other ship’s officers with basic information about depression so seafarers who are depressed may be identified and helped.
  • Black Dog Institute – offering support and information for the treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar.
  • RUOK – offers a list of crisis intervention services.
  • Lifeline – an Australian charity providing 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
  • MoodGYM – online cognitive behavioural therapy for depression suffers, available in a number of languages.

Wellness at sea

Wellness is about adopting life-style practices that improve the chances of not getting sick or should illness occur, how to manage it. 

The Wellness at Sea program aims to promote a seafarers’ wellbeing onboard and provides assistance in the early identification of mental health issues before they impact on seafarers’ lives.

Visit the Sailors’ Society website for more information about attending Wellness at Sea courses and programs.

Wellness at Sea app

The Sailors’ Society’s new Wellness at Sea app puts health and well-being at sea in the hands of seafarers. The app is iPhone and Android compatible and can be downloaded for free by searching for Wellness at Sea.  For more information, please read the Sailors' Society press release.

ITF Seafarers
Ports Australia
Australian Shipowners Association
Shipping Australia Limited
The Australian Mariners' Welfare Society
Mission to Seafarers
Stella Maris