Addressing Mental Health in the Offshore Industry
Mental Health Day has been a reminder for close to thirty years for people to take stock of what’s important. To self-reflect and take note of how they are feeling, and whether they need help.
This year’s theme for Mental Health Day is Mental Health is a Human Right. A theme that closely resonates with people globally, but, has significance to the offshore industry. The offshore industry has long been associated with hard work, adventure, lifelong friendships, and opportunities. However, much like the rest of the world, the offshore and marine industry has been facing a mental health epidemic.
Although the energy sector can bring invaluable experiences to people’s lives, it’s not unheard of for the industry to be seen as having an “old-school,” and “traditional,” mindset when it comes to mental health and the awareness of how it affects individuals.
Recent studies from IADC have shown that one in six workers will experience at least one mental health issue per week, with 19% of workers having a mental health diagnosis and 60% of employees experiencing a mental health challenge.
Currently, 37% of employees still feel uncomfortable discussing their feelings at work, whether that’s due to stress or job anxiety. Much of this is attributed to the fact that employees feel speaking up might cost them their jobs. In fact, this figure has gone up 1,100% since 2020.
Breaking the Stigma
It’s clear that the mindset still needs to change. While conversations are happening and the industry has improved immeasurably compared to its past, we need to make progress to help the people suffering in our industry. We need a comprehensive and clear approach.
A significant cultural change is needed to make a lasting impact. Research from Drager found that only 40% of managers currently believe that physical and mental health should be treated equally, which leads to employees feeling isolated, unsupported, and fearful.
We must change our approach from the top down, with an emphasis on mental health needed now more than ever. To make a positive change, mental health policies must be implemented, and mental and physical health must be treated equally. We need to create a supportive culture that frees us from the outdated stigma.
Let’s make those changes, starting today.