Breaking the Stigma on Mental Health in the Maritime Industry

Breaking the stigma on mental health was the focus of the second edition of the WMU training course entitled “Introduction to mental health and wellbeing: WaW – We are Well”. The 3-day course was delivered from 11-13 October to 12 WMU students in the Class of 2022 from across all specializations in the Malmö MSc in Maritime Affairs.

The We are Well course contributes to capacity building in the maritime industry through a focus on the well-being and mental health of seafarers, maritime leaders and decision-makers. “If future leaders of different countries understand the value of the balanced well-being and mental health for themselves, they could expand this idea in their countries, and convey it to the whole industry,” said Professor Jens-Uwe Schröder-Hinrichs, Vice-President (Academic) in remarks delivered at the close of the course.

The course was delivered by clinical psychologists and researchers with considerable experience in the maritime sector including WMU Assistant Professor Dr Inga Bartusevičienė, WMU Research Associate, Dr Maria Carrera, and Mr Charles Watkins, Clinical Psychologist/Psychotherapist and Managing Director of Mental Health Support Solutions.

The students participated in the course as part of their commitment towards a more caring and resilient maritime industry. Student feedback was very positive. The course provided helpful and practical information that can be  applied in the workplace as well as managing their own personal and professional mental well-being. In reflecting on the course, one participant highlighted the importance of not taking mental health for granted. They looked forward to putting the skills and information they have learnt into practice to benefit their workplaces. 

The “WaW-We are Well” training course contributes to WMU’s overall capacity building mission. Educating maritime and ocean leaders to promote mental health within the industry, particularly the wellbeing and mental health of seafarers, supports the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals: 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), and 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities). 

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