19 Jan Just Talking About Mental Health
Mental health is an important part of our well-being. It is a crucial part that must be addressed in order to avoid the negative effects of stress, anxiety and depression. Physical health is tightly connected to our mental state as it may affect chronic conditions and increase the risk of chronic illness.
Taking care of personal mental health is a challenge as it is driven by many factors that may surround a person’s life. It is important to understand that mental health is not just the absence of psychological conditions, but in a simple definition it is the goodness of our emotions, feelings and behaviour.
Every living person experiences and deals differently with their own mentality.
It is OK to not be OK
It is important to remember that just because you may not be feeling positive emotions at any given time, that does not mean you are broken or weak. It means you are human. Humans are allowed to feel the full spectrum of emotions. We all have days where we do not feel so great about ourselves or our lives, and that is perfectly OK! In fact, it can even be beneficial in helping us understand ourselves better by experiencing different emotional states and how they affect us both physically and mentally.
It is also totally OK to let somebody know that you are feeling this since when the mind achieves clarity there is always a more rational approach to stress situations.
An open conversation about mental health
Talking about mental health is important, and not just for seafarers. Seafarers are not the only ones who suffer from mental health issues. It is an issue that affects all of us, whether we realise it or not – and if you think someone is struggling with their mood and well-being, it is important to let them know that you are there for them and will listen if they want to talk about what is going on in their life.
However, it is widely recognised that being a seafarer is a profession that differs from others since it implies losing touch with the world ashore. Therefore, it is twice as important to pursue positive onboard interrelations, creating a family-feeling environment that seizes trust and friendship and welcomes openness.
Trying to get to know the people who surround you every day makes it easier to have regular catch-ups, listen to different opinions, and exchange information. This leads to the mind being positively stimulated and realising that you are in the same situation.
Mental health encompasses many conditions such as depression, anxiety and stress – but it also includes loneliness and other things like alcohol dependency or addiction problems (which can often result from trying to self-medicate).
Starting the conversation
Here are some ways to start a conversation:
- If you do not know how someone is feeling, ask them! This can be as simple as “How are you?” or “Is everything OK?”
- Give people space and time when they need it. They may not want to talk right away, so let them take their time and wait until they are ready before asking again. It is important not to push someone into talking if they do not feel like it because this can make them feel uncomfortable or anxious about opening up next time.
- Be open and honest with your own emotions; let your friend know that it is OK for them not to share details about their problems just yet – you are there for them even if they do not feel ready yet! This will help build trust between both parties, which makes talking easier in the future!
Talking about how we are feeling can help to improve our mental health and well-being. If you are struggling with your mental health, it is important to start a conversation about it, as it will help to keep you safe, healthy and well. You are not alone – there is support available for seafarers who need some extra help. By talking about how we are feeling, we may all see improvements in our overall health and well-being.
We hope that this article has encouraged you to start the conversation on mental health. You are not alone, and we want to help you. Please reach out to us if you need advice or support in your quest for better mental well-being. Be sure to check out our guidance on Mental Health and Well-being Talent Cards application.
It is good to talk!
Marina Charalambous, Crewing Operator – Group 3