The superyacht industry, renowned for its opulent luxury and breath-taking journeys, but it’s facing an alarming concern that demands immediate attention – the mental health of its invaluable crew members. In a survey conducted in 2021 by Quay Crew, encompassing insights from over 1,000 crew members across more than 50 countries, a disheartening reality emerged – the sector stands on the precipice of a crew mental health crisis.
Over half of the surveyed crew members reported a decline in their mental health since entering the superyacht sector. An unsettling one in five crew members currently battles poor mental health while onboard, while a third have encountered this struggle in the past. These concerning figures paint a vivid picture of the challenges that maritime professionals face daily.
The grievances span across various departments – interior, galley, deck, and engineering – indicating that this is not a challenge secluded to one facet of the industry. The root causes behind this unsettling trend are multifold – stress, anxiety, and loneliness stemming from burnout, crew dynamics, and insufficient sleep onboard.
Notably, the impact is felt more acutely by female crew members, particularly those in the interior and galley departments. It’s also evident that the duration of one’s stint in the yachting industry and the amount of leave granted correlate with mental health status.
Perhaps the most disconcerting revelation is that almost 50% of crew members have contemplated leaving the yachting industry due to these distressing circumstances. Financial concerns often deter them from taking this step, underscoring the dire need for effective intervention to restore the mental health and overall wellbeing of the crew community.
The survey spotlights the need for comprehensive change within the industry. While 62% of respondents remain oblivious to any policies or practices addressing mental health concerns, a resounding three-quarters expressed the desire for dedicated support and resources. Notably, mental health training is seen as a beacon of hope. But a mere 10% of crew members have undergone such training, yet a substantial 85% perceive it as valuable.
The survey further highlights a gap in communication channels. Currently, only 4% of crew members would confide in their Head of Department (HOD) if facing mental health issues, whereas 30% would turn to family members, and a similar percentage would seek solace in their fellow crew members.
In the face of these critical challenges, a proactive and compassionate approach becomes imperative. Superyacht owners, management companies, Captains, and HODs have the pivotal responsibility to prioritize crew wellbeing and mental health. In comparison to the vast operational costs of a superyacht, investment in support services and training emerges as an affordable yet transformative solution. Even modest shifts in onboard routines, cultural outlooks, and leave packages could yield profound effects.
In essence, Superyacht Fitness champions an environment where mental health isn’t just an afterthought but a cornerstone of the maritime experience. By going beyond the conventional confines of a gym, forging an innovative path that includes mind and body fitness. We understand that true well-being encompasses more than just physical exertion – it encompasses mental resilience, camaraderie, and an enriching onboard experience. Our approach is holistic, catering to the diverse dimensions of crew members’ lives. Through meticulously curated wellness programs, stress management strategies, and community-building initiatives, we foster an environment that nurtures not only physical vitality but also mental acuity and emotional harmony.
The future of the industry hinges on this commitment – the commitment to nurturing crew mental health, fostering loyalty, and ensuring the longevity of a thriving workforce at sea.