Importance of Mental Health Support for Mariners

The video by the BBC (link below) highlights the pressures faced by people working at sea and the importance of addressing mental health and suicide prevention. Please take a moment to watch the video and become familiar with the resources linked to the article.  As physicians, we recently completed a required Suicide Prevention training program which, along with this video, reinforced to us the importance of screening interventions and ongoing mental health support for mariners. As a result, we have incorporated an assessment for suicide risk in our electronic Fitness-for-Duty screening platform.

Most likely, we have all been touched by the suicide of a friend, family member, community member or colleague.  At Discovery Health, we seek to enhance early detection of suicide risk among mariners and we start by sharing the material such as this video. We acknowledge that more can be done and is especially needed in the maritime.

This industry demands so much of mariners who by definition are isolated from immediate access to professional medical resources. Please let us know if your fleet or you personally have ideas on how to decrease the occurrence of suicide among the seafaring population.  Our goal is to bring all mariners home safely.

Best to all,
Drs. Ray and Ann Jarris


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About the Author:

Dr. Ann Jarris is a Maritime and Remote Medicine Specialist based out of Seattle, WA. She has practiced as a physician for over 15 years in urban and remote settings. Her experience is in occupational, emergency, wilderness and virtual medicine. Dr. Jarris leads innovation and research efforts at Discovery Health MD as Co-Founder and CEO.

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