Seafarers’ Trust seeks centres to research seafarer suicide


The ITF Seafarers’ Trust is putting out a Call for Expressions of Interest for collaborating centres to undertake vital research into suicide among seafarers.

Centres interested in participating are invited to submit a form explaining the outline of their proposed research. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 1 September 2017.

Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to submit a full proposal for consideration by a panel of experts.

The research questions to be addressed are:

the relationship between living and working at sea and mental distress or ill-health in both the short and long term;

the effect of population variables within the international seafaring population on these relationships;

whether there is an excess risk of suicide in seafarers compared to other professions; and

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

The research will be used to encourage the industry to take steps to reduce mental distress and its serious consequences in seafarers, and to ensure that seafarers suffering from mental ill-health or the dependents of those who have suicided are not stigmatised.

Kimberly Karlshoej, Head of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, said: “The ITF Seafarers’ Trust is a leader in promoting and improving the wellbeing of seafarers worldwide. We’re getting a lot of anecdotal information on seafarers suiciding, however, we need more evidence of the extent and causes of this problem.

“This important research will explore the relationships between social isolation on board, depression and, in the worst cases, suicide. It will enable the maritime community to gain much-needed answers that will assist in understanding the extent of seafarers’ mental health problems.”

David Heindel, Chair of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, added: “The Seafarers’ Trust already carries out some excellent work in relation to mental health. I welcome the move to commission this research and believe it will shed light on an often-hidden issue.”

Source: Seafarers’ Trust

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