ISWAN Tackles Stress And Fatigue In New Guidance For Seafarers

The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) has launched a third Good Mental Health Guide for Seafarers entitled Managing Stress and Sleeping Well at Sea.

seafarer fatigue
Representation Image – Credits: cardiffpsychology/YouTube

Seafarers face unique challenges shared by few other professions – long periods away from home, living and working in the same place, adverse weather and even the risk of piracy. ISWAN’s new self-help guide, Managing Stress and Sleeping Well at Sea, aims to help seafarers understand stress and its effects, and offers practical strategies to recognise stress and cope effectively.

A 15-minute audio relaxation exercise, which can be accessed online at, is available to complement the guide. The exercise combines muscle relaxation with controlled breathing to help calm the body and mind in times of stress.

The new guidance also provides advice on how seafarers can manage fatigue at sea and get the most from their sleep. Factors such as rota management and crewing numbers may be largely outside of seafarers’ control, but seafarers can use the tips in Managing Stress and Sleeping Well at Sea to reduce their risk of fatigue and take care of their sleep health.

Managing Stress and Sleeping Well at Sea is sponsored by the Shipowners’ Club and written by Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr Pennie Blackburn. The guide can be downloaded here.

Press Release: ISWAN

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