open access

Vol 68, No 2 (2017)
Review article
Submitted: 2017-03-16
Accepted: 2017-05-23
Published online: 2017-06-27
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Seafarers’ depression and suicide

Alex Mellbye1, Tim Carter2
DOI: 10.5603/IMH.2017.0020
·
Pubmed: 28660614
·
International Maritime Health 2017;68(2):108-114.
Affiliations
  1. ITF Seafarers’ Trust, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
  2. Norwegian Centre for Maritime Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway, Norway

open access

Vol 68, No 2 (2017)
MARITIME/OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE Review article
Submitted: 2017-03-16
Accepted: 2017-05-23
Published online: 2017-06-27

Abstract

This review assesses available evidence on the frequency of and trends in depression and suicide among seafarers. Investigations of depression and suicide are scarce and the findings are inconsistent, they do, nevertheless, show indications of improvement although some recent case series do indicate that suicide remains a problem. A review of additional indicators for mental distress and lack of wellbeing supports the decline in frequency of problems, but nuances this in terms of the relative risks in different groups of seafarers, showing internal variations in the frequency of mental health issues among seafarers, with markers such as rank, type of voyage, gender, age, nationality and crew multiculturalism being relevant variables. The methodological limitations that hinder the understanding of depression and suicide in the maritime sector are identified.

Abstract

This review assesses available evidence on the frequency of and trends in depression and suicide among seafarers. Investigations of depression and suicide are scarce and the findings are inconsistent, they do, nevertheless, show indications of improvement although some recent case series do indicate that suicide remains a problem. A review of additional indicators for mental distress and lack of wellbeing supports the decline in frequency of problems, but nuances this in terms of the relative risks in different groups of seafarers, showing internal variations in the frequency of mental health issues among seafarers, with markers such as rank, type of voyage, gender, age, nationality and crew multiculturalism being relevant variables. The methodological limitations that hinder the understanding of depression and suicide in the maritime sector are identified.

Get Citation

Keywords

seafarers, depression, suicide, social isolation, burnout, deep-sea, cultural distance, selection bias, medical examinations

About this article
Title

Seafarers’ depression and suicide

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 68, No 2 (2017)

Article type

Review article

Pages

108-114

Published online

2017-06-27

DOI

10.5603/IMH.2017.0020

Pubmed

28660614

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2017;68(2):108-114.

Keywords

seafarers
depression
suicide
social isolation
burnout
deep-sea
cultural distance
selection bias
medical examinations

Authors

Alex Mellbye
Tim Carter

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