Skip to main content

Mental health matters in maritime

3 January 2024

This month's Nautilus Telegraph equality and diversity advice column covers tell-tale signs of poor mental health and what help is available for seafarers

Spotting stress

There are tell-tale signs that can lead to poor mental health among seafarers, including:

  • a feeling of lack of personal control
  • inadequate support from colleagues/manager
  • poor work relationships (bullying and violence)
  • role/job conflict or lack of clarity on requirements
  • change and/or poor change management
  • excessive workload/working outside expertise

What can I do if I have concerns?

  • UK employers have a legal duty to protect employees from stress at work by doing a risk assessment and acting on it
  • the UK health and safety watchdog has established a framework to help employers tackle work-related stress
  • in the Netherlands, employers also have strong financial incentives in principle to invest in sickness management and the law requires them to undertake a risk assessment on occupational health and safety issues, including psychosocial risks at work

How Nautilus can help

  • contact your Union first if you have an issue
  • Nautilus can support you in tackling workplace bullying and harassment. Download the Nautilus Protect and Respect guide  
  • if, as a female member, you would like to speak to a female official about a bullying or harassment issue, email
  • Nautilus organisers ensure 'sailing with satisfaction' is on the agenda in NL branch collective bargaining agreement negotiations after a survey of members showed only just over half were happy with their mental health
  • as an affiliate of global organisations such as the European Transport Workers' Federation, Nautilus feeds back members' views to international symposiums on mental health
  • at our General Meeting members voted on Union initiatives to support fair working conditions, increase diversity awareness, and hold employers to account on workers' rights and safety, so be ready to support us on these!
Callout Image

Inspiring inclusion in 2024

  • tell us your ideas for 'inspiring inclusion', the theme for 2024's International Women's Day on 8 March, by emailing
  • join the next Nautilus Equality and Diversity meeting on 22 April and update us on your organisation's diversity efforts
  • support the IMO's Women in Maritime Day on 18 May


Image: Getty Images



Become a Nautilus member today