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  • Writer's pictureMonique Coombs

Fishermen Wellness & COVID-19

Fishing, like most other industries, has been deeply impacted as the need for isolation has closed large wharfs, shuttered restaurants, closed small markets and schools, and kept people at home. The pocketbooks of Mainers have also taken a deep hit as many workers have lost jobs or are working reduced hours. The fish are still out there, but many are struggling to find markets for their catch and prices at the dock have fallen.

Even if you escape the virus, the stress and isolation, and the uncertainty about how long this will last has left many people worried, financially stressed, and without many of our favorite stress busters. Greater uncertainty and stress can lead to mental health challenges like anxiety and depression or more irritability. Some people turn to alcohol or other substances to deal with the extra time and all the stress, while others may struggle with their sleeping or eating, may get into more arguments with their friends, family, or others. Some may be feeling like they have no motivation or energy. A crisis like this also increases the risk of suicide and domestic violence.

What can you do if you are worried about yourself or a loved one? Even in this time of isolation help is available for mental health treatment and support and for substance use concerns. It may not be easy to reach out and ask, but it may save your life or the life of someone you care about.


  • NAMI Maine Helpline: 1-800-4645-5767 ext. 1 for resources, support, or referrals. Monday-Friday 8-4:00

  • NAMI Maine Helpline is offering a clinician match program in which we are able to match you with a volunteer licensed clinician to complete a one-time mental wellness check-in

  • Maine Crisis Line 1-888-568-1112. 24/7 by phone or text

  • This website has a list of virtual meetings for those who struggle with substance use as well as for family members.

  • Portland Recovery Community Center continues to provide one on one recovery coach support as well as updated online meeting resources daily.

A note from MCFA staff: Fishermen Wellness is a new on-going series by NAMI Clinical Staff. Each week a new topic will be featured pertaining to mental health and wellness for fishermen. We hope that this information is helpful to fishermen during COVID-19 and also under regular circumstances. Thank you to the clinical staff at NAMI for their support and insight during this time. Together, we persevere.



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