This webinar will introduce participants to current challenges in the commercial fishing industry and how they are impacting the mental health and well-being of commercial fishermen and their communities. The presenters will also share resources that are available (and in the process of being created) that are intended to promote mental health awareness and provide resources for fishermen seeking support.
The University of Texas Medical Branch conducted semi-structured interviews and observations with Gulf Coast shrimp fishermen to understand their healthcare experiences and needs as well as policies that are impacting their health. Community-based participatory research (CBPR), a relational model that values the participants as equal partners in research, dissemination, and implementation, guided the interviews. To address the lack of healthcare options for (im)migrants, and at the request of the seafood workers participating in the ongoing CBPR study, we successfully implemented and treated workers through a free mobile clinic. Many of these individuals had not been seen by a healthcare provider in years, highlighting the importance of community trust and rapport building when addressing interconnected health and safety issues. CBPR, when applied to high-risk occupational settings with underreached populations (e.g., (im)migrant workers), can improve health and prevent injury.