IMO cites momentum on mental health


The following is text of a news release from the International Maritime Organization (IMO):

(LONDON) — This year, once again, June 25 marks the annual Day of the Seafarer (DotS).

​2017 and 2018 have seen strong momentum in the industry to address seafarer's well-being, particularly their mental health.

To give further exposure to this important issue, our choice for the 2018 Day of the Seafarer theme is "seafarers' well-being."

By addressing the issue of seafarers' well-being and particularly mental health, this campaign can inform specific strategies to tackle stress and other issues affecting seafarers' mental conditions — and make the tools available more widely known.

The campaign will seek to highlight and showcase best practices and good examples but will also, inevitably, bring out areas of concern and examples of shortcomings.

Take the survey

​At the core of our campaign this year, we created an online survey to collect seafarers' feedback. We want to hear from you to make sure you know what your rights are and if you feel those rights are being implemented into your operational reality. The survey's feedback will be fed at IMO Council to make sure member states are aware of your comments. So take the survey. Click here to take the survey.

Photo competition

​This year, the IMO and the International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) have teamed up to give you the chance to showcase your photographic skills and win a GoPro camera, iPad or both. The competition is sponsored by the North American Maritime Ministry Association (NAMMA). Click here to share your photos. 

Social media

As in previous years, the campaign will be centered on social media. All of the IMO's social media platforms are likely to feature but Twitter and Facebook will account for most activity.

This year the campaign will have two hashtags, as follows:


This hashtag can be used by shipping companies and others within the industry, to show how they provide a decent working environment for seafarers and how they address mental health issues among their seagoing staff.


This hashtag can be used to engage the general public, to wish them a good day at sea.

We will use the hashtag #GoodDayatSea to encourage seafarers to share photos of themselves in a positive work environment as part of our photo competition.

Completing the phrase #GoodDayatSea looks like…

This year, we will also promote good initiatives and material developed by various maritime stakeholders to advocate for higher standards of welfare as well as highlight what they are doing to improve conditions for seafarers regarding issues related to seafarers' wellbeing, such as:

Shore leave
Mental health
No criminalization
Resources available to positive mental health
MLC convention

Film on seafarers’ mental health and well-being

​A new film produced by Videotel called "Seafarers' Mental Health and Well-being" will see its trailer launched on the occasion of Day of the Seafarer. The free video will provide useful signposts and will get you thinking about your own mental health. It will equip seafarers with ideas and resources that could lead them to better mental health.


​DotS was established in a resolution adopted by the 2010 Diplomatic Conference in Manila to adopt the revised STCW Convention. Its stated purpose is to recognize the unique contribution made by seafarers from all over the world to international seaborne trade, the world economy and civil society as a whole.

The resolution "encourages governments, shipping organizations, companies, shipowners and all other parties concerned to duly and appropriately promote the Day of the Seafarer and take action to celebrate it meaningfully."

Day of the Seafarer is recognized by the United Nations as an observance day.

By Professional Mariner Staff