Mariner mental health during COVID-19

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U.S. Mariner Mental Health and Well-Being During COVID-19 and Beyond

Work can have a profound impact on mental health.

U.S. Mariners worked through the COVID-19 pandemic, providing essential services and goods. U.S. Mariners hold stressful jobs—spending long periods of time away from home often with disrupted communication, while working long hours at sea. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more challenging for U.S. Mariners to come ashore, and has added additional stressors to their work and personal lives.

Surveying U.S Merchant Mariners

The U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System COVID-19 Working Group in partnership with CDC/NIOSH and Marissa Baker at the University of Washington School of Public Health developed and deployed an online survey of U.S. Mariners between January 25-July 31, 2021. The goals of the survey were to:

  • Characterize mental health outcomes, determinants, and barriers to accessing care
  • Prioritize interventions to improve mariner well-being during COVID-19 and beyond


Click on the purple button to download the final report with results from the U.S. Mariner Mental Health Survey, including recommendations for interventions to improve mariner well-being and mental health going forward. Included as appendices is a copy of the survey instrument, promotional flyer for the survey, and a list of mental health resources for mariners.

Download the report now

Contact Information

Questions on the survey or results can be directed to Marissa Baker:


This survey was funded through an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) arrangement between the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Marissa Baker at the University of Washington. The findings reflected in this report do not necessarily reflect the opinions of NIOSH/CDC.

The survey was developed and deployed through close collaboration with the U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) COVID-19 Working Group, U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD), and the Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP).

Additional acknowledgement is for the mariners who not only were willing to take our survey and contribute to this work, but also continued to work tirelessly during the COVID-19 pandemic, delivering goods and services.