How to manage mental health at sea

Published on June 24th, 2023

Living on a yacht can contribute to mental health decline due to the pressure of maintaining high standards, added sleep deprivation and physical strain on your body. Melanie White discusses her experiences living and working on superyachts.

It’s a common misconception that ‘mental health’ only applies when we are experiencing a condition such as anxiety, depression, or addiction. But one of the most important points about mental health is that, like physical health, it’s something we all have and it will oscillate between good spells and poor spells for everyone. Have you considered what happens if you or your crew have a mental wellbeing dip while at sea?

By the age of 22, I felt I was ticking life’s boxes as if filling in a routine survey. Good grades at school? Check. Reliable university degree? Check. Steady graduate job? Check. My feet were planted firmly on solid ground; my life perfectly mirroring society’s expectations.

But there was something in me that felt suffocated by the 9-5 and so I decided to take my career to sea and become a yacht chef. After taking a handful of courses I plunged into the superyacht industry, like an ice cube thrown into a crystal glass of the finest whisky, having stepped foot on a boat just three times before. – Full report

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