The International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) has adapted its Mental Health Awareness Training for the Maritime Industry so it can be delivered online.

This two-module online mental health awareness training provides an introduction to mental health awareness for management-level personnel on shore and on board ships in understanding mental health, recognising the signs of mental health problems and first response to concerns that can arise on board.


Through a mix of discussions, presentations, and practical activities, this online live interactive course aims to:

  • Raise awareness of mental health and the impact of stigma
  • Increase understanding of common mental health problems and their causes
  • Understand how mental health might be affected by working at sea
  • Recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health problems
  • Build skills and confidence in knowing when to act and how to provide initial support whilst at sea
  • Dealing with issues like suicide, bullying and harassment and severe mental illness
  • Support cohesive team relationships for crew wellbeing

Why is ISWAN's training different?

This training is designed specifically to build awareness of mental health in a maritime environment. It adapts best practice for mental health awareness, early recognition and initial response for senior officers and shoreside staff.

Offered by ISWAN, this training is designed by Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr. Pennie Blackburn, author of the ISWAN Good Mental Health Guides. Grounded in evidence and best practice in the field of mental health, this course draws on the extensive experience of ISWAN and its other helpline, SeafarerHelp, around the issues affecting seafarers and the challenges of supporting people at sea.

Who is it for?

The course is designed for management-level personnel on shore and on board ships, including those who carry a mental health officer responsibility. It is suitable for anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of mental health at sea and carries responsibility for crew.

When is it and what is covered?

Module 1: Introduction to Mental Health

Module 1 provides an introduction to mental health, an overview of types of mental health problems, mental health at sea and understanding the causes of mental health problems as well as tackling stigma and promoting crew cohesion. This module is required prior to Module 2.

Module 2: Recognising Signs and First Response

Module 2 builds on the introduction to mental health awareness. Participants develop their capacity to recognise signs and symptoms of crew members who may be struggling with their mental health. It offers an overview of psychological first aid (PFA), including the role officers can play and the limitations of the role and teaches essential skills to provide a timely first response through small group practice.


'The benefit of Dr. Blackburn’s experience and applicable statistical evidence made the course very specific to the seafaring situation, which is difficult to find elsewhere'

'One of the best online training!'

'A very interesting course, which I would highly recommend for all seastaff (not just senior staff). It was engaging, inclusive and well presented'

'I thought the training was really beneficial to everyone involved, regardless of their rank or role in the company. The interactive sessions made the experience more engaging and interesting to participate in'

Book now

If you would like ISWAN to run this course for your company or organisation, please get in touch here.

We are grateful to our primary sponsors & partners for their continued support: