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Five top tips for mental well-being this Men’s Health Week

Captain Lee Clarke BSc (Hon) AFRIN, Tapiit Live’s Content and Delivery Manager

With #MensHealthWeek starting today (14 Jun) ex Captain Lee Clarke, who works on training content at maritime training organisation @TapiitLive, shares five top tips for onboard mental well-being:

After the year that the general population have had, and especially seafarers, mental well health will be at the forefront of discussions for this year’s Men’s Health Week (14-21 June). 

Five top tips to improve onboard mental health

1. Exercise

Most ships have an onboard gym, and the endorphins created through exercise lead directly to an improved mental state and better physical health.  

2. Make conversations

All seafarers, and especially captains, should walk through the ship and make interactions a priority. Life at sea can be isolating and engaging with others is vital. 

3. Switch off

The industry can be stressful and all consuming, so it can be difficult to find the time to switch off. Allocating down-time to time to watch films is a good escape, and when ashore taking the time to have even ten minutes off the ship can be incredibly grounding.

4. Prioritise sleep

While not always conducive to life at sea, having enough sleep is a proven mental health support and so it is important to make practical steps to get the sleep you need.

5. Stay connected

While engaging with life back home can be upsetting, it is an important part of feeling centred and retaining identity. Be wary of connecting only through social media, as interactions often lack depth and it doesn’t always provide the necessary support.  

Live-streamed mental well-being training

The advice comes from Captain Lee Clarke BSc (Hon) AFRIN, Tapiit Live’s Content and Delivery Manager, drawing on his experience at sea and in his role at Tapiit Live, where he works with clinical psychologists to deliver live-streamed mental well-being training.

“Mental health is increasingly at the forefront of men’s health discussions and rightly so,” he says.

“For too long talking about mental health, for men especially, was seen as weakness, and high levels of depression and suicide in men are testament to why this has to change.

“In an industry dominated by men, it is important than we mark Men’s Health Week in recognition of the hard work that seafarers do and the strain their roles can put themselves under – this year more than most.”

Lee believes that proactively taking steps to look after your mental well-being is essential:

“Training, specifically designed for the maritime industry, such as Tapiit Live’s interactive, live streamed mental well-being course are a good measure to support crew welfare, providing practical advice and tips to allow seafarers to take control of their mental well-being,” he concludes.

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