Today, the IMRF marks World Mental Health Day and highlights the importance of talking openly and honestly about the challenges of mental health, with an exclusive podcast on the impact of mental health and wellbeing in the maritime SAR sector.

In our first podcast, we speak to Matthew Mitchell, the US Coast Guard's Director of Policy, to discuss his experience of mental health and wellbeing challenges both at sea and on shore, as well as the steps SAR organisations can take to ensure their staff and volunteers are protected and have the space they need in high-stress environments.

In our second podcast, to be released later this month, we will speak to Fredrik Forsman, an Instructor at Mechanics and Maritime Sciences at the Chalmers University of Technology’s Division of Maritime Studies, who is also involved in the Swedish Sea Rescue Society. Fredrik will discuss how his role in the Swedish Yellow Boats initiative in the Aegean Sea in 2016 impacted his mental health and how lessons learnt from those experiences have influenced SAR personnel training today.  Fredrik will also highlight the importance of psychological safety and debriefing.

These podcasts touch on sensitive subjects and have been produced as part of our #SARyouOK? Initiative to promote awareness and break down the stigma that is attached to mental health and wellbeing issues for those involved in the maritime SAR sector.

You can read more about the IMRF’s latest initiative here.