Seafarers’ Social Isolation, Depression and Suicide

Summary report from the Autumn 2016 workshop on SIDS.

Date Published: May 2017

Source: ITF Seafarers’ Trust

Seafarer Social Isolation, Depression and Suicde Workshop Write Up


The ITF Seafarers Trust is putting out a call for proposals for research in to seafarers’ social isolation, depression and suicide as there is continuing uncertainty about the mental health consequences of working as a seafarer, notably whether there is an excess risk of suicide.

1. What is the relationship between living and working at sea, in particular social isolation, and mental distress or mental ill-health, both short and long term? How do these factors contribute to suicide and to unfitness to continue working at sea?

2. What is the effect of population variables within the international seafaring population on these relationships?

3. Is there an excess risk of suicide in seafarers compared to other groups in the working population, if so are any sub-sets of the population who are at particularly high risk and can any aspects of life and work at sea be identified as contributory causes?

4. What methods of intervention have the potential to be used in seafaring populations to reduce any adverse effects of seafaring on mental ill-health and suicide.

The study/studies should provide the data to assist those in the sector to take steps to reduce mental distress and its serious consequences in seafarers. In addition, we want ensure that seafarers suffering from mental ill-health or the dependents of those who have committed suicide are not stigmatised and are entitled to the same benefit and support arrangements as those with other forms of illness or who have died while working in the industry.


Translate »