"Many of us invest in our physical health but often overlook how it affects our mental wellbeing," says Dr. Tülsner.

Recent cases managed by MMS have highlighted this connection. For instance, one seafarer suffered from headaches, leg cramps, and hand pain due to unhappiness with onboard tasks. Another seafarer, showing signs of depression, discovered an underlying thyroid issue after taking medical leave.

Research shows that physical activity improves mental health by boosting mood and reducing depression and anxiety. This is because exercise releases endorphins, the brain's natural stress and pain relievers. On the flip side, chronic pain or illness can lead to mental health issues, while stress can worsen physical conditions like gastrointestinal problems or heart disease. This shows the need to care for both physical and mental health, especially for seafarers facing unique job challenges.

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Dr. Tülsner advises seafarers to adopt a holistic approach to health. This includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, enough sleep, and stress management techniques like meditation or yoga, along with strong social support. Understanding that self-care is essential for overall wellbeing is key to staying healthy.

MMS, in partnership with OCS, offers comprehensive medical support services to the maritime industry. They provide a 24/7 telemedical helpline, medical equipment maintenance, medical supply management, coordination of shore-based medical treatment, and management of onboard medical facilities. Dr. Tülsner, who has extensive experience in the cruise industry, has served as Medical Director of an emergency and intensive care clinic and Vice-President of Medical and Public Health at Carnival Maritime.

“Taking care of both physical and mental health is essential for seafarers’ wellbeing,” concludes Dr. Tülsner. “Our goal is to ensure seafarers get the holistic care they need to thrive, both on and off the vessel.”