Shipping companies are being invited to sign up to a free mental health and wellbeing campaign offering support not just to crews, but also their families and shore staff.
International maritime charity Sailors’ Society said it has expanded its Wellness at Sea Awareness Campaign to include families and shore staff. The 27-week campaign, which starts in June, will help seafarers, their families and shore staff understand how they can manage their own wellbeing and navigate common challenges that people connected to the maritime industry can face. It will also offer them access to free support, advice and counselling.
Johan Smith, Sailors’ Society’s Wellness at Sea program manager, said, “We’re expanding the course as part of our ‘circle of care’ approach, offering seafarers support across both their work and home lives.
“No seafarer is an island. Each member of your crew is connected with other people who they depend on and influence their wellbeing.
“Families and shore staff play a very important role in seafarers’ lives. By expanding the program to include them, we can create understanding, empathy and unity between them, helping them all to develop stronger relationships and better mental health.”
More than 1,000 ships took part in the Wellness at Sea Awareness Campaign last year, when it was launched in response to the coronavirus pandemic, from companies including Seaspan, Fleet, SWIRE, Mayfair, Seaarland, Dynacom Tankers and Dorian LPG.
Torsten Holst Pedersen, COO, Seaspan Ship Management Ltd, said, “If I had to give one explanation of how Seaspan has got through the pandemic so far, it is that our crews have been resilient, and that has been possible because they know that there is a Wellness at Sea program that supports their needs.”
The awareness campaign reflects Sailors’ Society’s 10 years of experience in wellness training and industry-leading work on mental health at sea, is delivered free of charge and rolled-out over 27 weeks via a variety of materials including podcasts, videos and posters. Seafarers also have the opportunity to make contact with counselors and port chaplains through dedicated helplines.