Suicide is a major killer of seafarers.

More than a quarter of seafarers suffer from depression. Long contracts at sea, thousands of miles away from families and friends – often with inconsistent or no Wi-Fi – can be incredibly isolating and challenging.

For too many, the pressure feels unbearable.

Nearly six per cent of deaths at sea are attributable to suicide, rising dramatically if probable suicides – seafarers going missing at sea under suspicious circumstances – are taken into account.

Together, we can change this.

Join with us in saying Not On My Watch to suicide and depression at sea.

There are the three ways you can make a difference:

  1. Sign our petition calling on the International Labour Organization (ILO) to make it mandatory in the Maritime Labour Convention for seafarers to receive wellness training.
  2. Give to Sailors’ Society’s work supporting seafarers who are struggling with depression or have lost colleagues due to suicide. Funds will go where they are needed most when received – either to our port chaplaincy work, our wellness programme or to our crisis response network for seafarers in need of emergency mental health support.
  3. Empower more seafarers to take control of their own mental health by adopting our Wellness at Sea (WAS) seafarer training programme in your company, and speaking out about mental health issues to breaking the taboos around depression at sea.
“I was in denial, disheartened at my core and shocked, to accept that a person who was making jokes and laughing with us a few hours earlier would take such a step. I fell into depression myself, burdened with one remorseful thought that clouded my mind at all times: could I have saved his life? This experience has helped me realise the importance of sharing your problems and asking your shipmates if they are facing any issues themselves. A simple acknowledgement could save someone’s life.” Aditya Giri, director, Humans at Sea

Say Not On My Watch to suicide and depression at sea

Wellness at Sea

Sailors’ Society’s innovative Wellness at Sea coaching programme empowers seafarers to look after their own well-being, helping them protect themselves and their crewmates against depression.

Wellness at Sea explores five different aspects of a seafarer’s life: social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual.

By helping seafarers take control of each of these areas, the programme enables them to mange their own mental health and combat some of the factors that lead to depression.

It also teaches them how to identify signs of depression, how to help others struggling with mental health issues and where to get help if they need it for themselves.

Find out more at

Wellness at Sea is available around the world and can be delivered in Hindi, Russian, Mandarin, Tagalog and English. Since its launch in 2015, more than 4,000 seafarers have completed the training.

Long contracts and busy schedules mean classroom-based training isn’t always possible, so Wellness at Sea is also available as an e-learning course.

There are a variety of ways you can support Wellness at Sea and say Not On My Watch to suicide and depression at sea, including:

  • running Wellness at Sea training for your staff
  • sponsoring seafarers or cadets to take the e-learning course; £100 can pay for 20 seafarers to access the training

For sponsorship or partnership opportunities, please contact Sailors’ Society’s corporate partnerships executive Thompson Pacey at [email protected]

Sources: Sailors’ Society/ Yale survey, 2017; Iversen RT; The Mental Health of Seafarers, International Maritime Health. 2012.