Executive Briefings

Piracy's Psychological Effects on Mariners Studied

While incidents of piracy decline off the Horn of Africa, an inestimable number of seafarers continue to bear the psychological impact of captivity by pirates. To describe their condition and to advise the maritime industry on how to care for affected individuals, the Seamen's Church Institute (SCI), in collaboration with New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine, has released a report from its clinical study of the effects of piracy on seafarers.

The first of two reports introduced in London recently describes the study and major findings from 154 seafarer interviews. "During encounters with pirates, seafarers experience traumatic events that may lead to clinically significant emotional consequences," SCI's clinical researcher Dr. Michael S. Garfinkle says. "However, no attempts to describe the emotional circumstances of seafarers currently exist to help in assessing and treating them." SCI aimed this first report, entitled "The Psychological Impact of Piracy on Seafarers," at giving persons in the maritime industry a direct look at the data from SCI's clinical study and some of its implications. In discussions with shipowners, SCI hopes to stimulate human resources protocols for treatment. The second report, a scientific peer-reviewed paper, follows, with planned publication in early 2013.

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The first of two reports introduced in London recently describes the study and major findings from 154 seafarer interviews. "During encounters with pirates, seafarers experience traumatic events that may lead to clinically significant emotional consequences," SCI's clinical researcher Dr. Michael S. Garfinkle says. "However, no attempts to describe the emotional circumstances of seafarers currently exist to help in assessing and treating them." SCI aimed this first report, entitled "The Psychological Impact of Piracy on Seafarers," at giving persons in the maritime industry a direct look at the data from SCI's clinical study and some of its implications. In discussions with shipowners, SCI hopes to stimulate human resources protocols for treatment. The second report, a scientific peer-reviewed paper, follows, with planned publication in early 2013.

Read Full Article