Accessible Care for the Commercial Fishing Industry

Accessible Care for the Commercial Fishing Industry

Summary: 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.

Intended Audience: This presentation is for anyone interested in better understanding the needs of the commercial fishing community, and the work that is being done to support fishermen and their communities.

Objectives: At the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Have a general understanding of challenges that affect the mental and physical health of individuals who earn their living from fishing.
  • Learn about work that has been done to support the mental and physical health of commercial fishermen.
  • Find helpful resources that are available (or in the process of being made available) to support the work of providers interested in working with the commercial fishing community, or for anyone who wants to know more about health and wellness in the fishing community in general. (i.e., Fishing Forward podcast, FishAbility, ManTherapy)

Monique Coombs

Director of Community Programs

Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association

Monique Coombs is the Director of Community Programs for the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association. She has been a part of the commercial fishing community for nearly two decades (and is married to a commercial fisherman). Her work has focused on seafood distribution, working waterfront, and wellness. Currently, she runs a program at the MCFA focusing on Fishermen Wellness, partnering with organizations like the Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety, NAMI Maine, and Access Health to identify and build resources specifically for the commercial fishing community, and to help educate behavioral health specialists on the needs of the fishing community.

Mandy Roome, PhD

Research Scientist

Bassett Healthcare Network

Amanda (Mandy) Roome is a research scientist at the Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety in agriculture, forestry, and fishing. She works with
commercial fishermen to determine ways to improve the health and safety of the industry. She has worked on a lifejacket initiative, working with commercial lobstermen in the Northeast to identify lifejackets that are both comfortable and feasible for them to work in. More recently, she has been teaming up with MCFA and Man Therapy to develop mental health resources geared toward commercial fishermen.


Recorded 10/25/2022
Recorded 10/25/2022 Summary: 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.
6 Questions
Certificate of Attendance
1.00 Online Education Hours credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 Online Education Hours credit  |  Certificate available