Industry Partnering and Support

Introduction

There is lots of help and support available to help seafarers (current and former) and their families. 

Here you can find out more about organisations who provide guidance in a host of ways from policy guidelines, helplines and online support, practical/ emotional and spiritual services, through to financial and legal advice and mental health resources.

 

Industry partnering

Significant work  is being undertaken across the industry and beyond, to promote good practice and support mental wellbeing. Included here, is a collection of services and online assistance that may be helpful for seafarers (current and former) and their families, to obtain information and support.

 

Policy and guidelines 

Clear policies help set a positive company culture, promote awareness of the importance of good health and wellbeing of employees, and provide clarity to employees on the support available.

UK Chamber of Shipping “Guidelines to Shipping Companies on Mental Health Awareness”  

In the current absence of a statutory requirement, suggested criteria for the development of courses to help improve standards in the provision of mental health and wellbeing training for Seafarers'  has been developed and is available via Witherby Seamanship International (at a cost). A Standard for Seafarers' Mental Health Awareness and Wellbeing Training (eBook) 

 

General helplines and online support

   

Sailors Society Wellness at Sea

Website and app providing resources and tools supporting companies and individuals with emotional, physical, intellectual, spiritual and social wellbeing.

SeafarerHelp Free, confidential, multi-lingual 24-hour helpline for all seafarers and families provided by ISWAN (International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network). Helpline for any issue including low mood, non-payment of wages, bullying and harassment, issues with repatriation, general contractual disputes, and requests for information.
Seafarers Hospital Society [UK only] Website dedicated to meeting the health, welfare and advice needs of UK-based seafarers and their dependants including information on health and welfare grants, advice services, and health and fitness support

Seafarers' Advice and Information Line (SAIL)

[UK only] National telephone advice service provided for UK-based seafarers and families. Provides free, confidential and impartial advice and information on a wide range of issues including welfare, benefits, housing, employment etc.

Contact your union

Where appropriate seafarers can also contact their unions, who also provide many aspects of support.

 

Practical, emotional and spiritual services 

Mission to Seafarers 

Global network providing support for concerns such as money worries, mental health issues and loneliness, as well as piracy, shipwreck and abandonment. Offers practical support at their seafarer centres when facilities are not otherwise. Also able to provide spiritual and emotional support onboard.

Sailors’ Society 

Global network providing practical help and pastoral care to seafarers and families including welfare support, access to education and financial help through grants and support for families in need. Their free app, Wellness at sea, contains self-help resources for seafarers  to stay physically and mentally fit.

Stella Maris (formerly Apostleship of the Sea (AoS)) 

The largest ship-visiting charity in the world with a global network of over 1,000 chaplains and volunteers in 334 ports spread across 59 countries. Conducts around 70,000 ship visits a year to provide welfare services, advice, friendship, practical and pastoral care to all seafarers, regardless of nationality, belief or race. Provides "a friendly face in a foreign land, someone the seafarer can trust, speak to and confide in".

The Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) 

[North America Specific] Mariners agency undertaking ship visits on the inland river waterways of the United States and the Gulf of Mexico. They provide the facility to connect with home and services such as education, pastoral care and legal help. Seafarers’ centres are available in the Port of New York and New Jersey.

 

Financial and legal advice

For financial and legal advice (debt, benefits, housing, pensions etc.) in addition to those already highlighted in ‘General helplines and online support’: 

SCI’s Center for Seafarers’ Rights 

Global, free legal-aid service devoted exclusively to the needs of merchant mariners.

Seafarer Support  - [UK only] 

Guidance service (search engine) to find available support including advice or finding financial support

Financial and legal guidance and support can also be sought via the services highlighted within ‘Practical, emotional and spiritual services’: 

 

Mental health resources

In addition to the resources highlighted within the ‘General helplines and online support’, there are many others available to support both companies and individuals around mental wellbeing, offered by the following organisations:

International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN)  – A membership organisation which works to promote and support the welfare of seafarers globally. 

  • The ‘Good Mental Health’  - Section of the seafarers health information programme by ISWAN contains resources, including the below practical self-help guides, available in various languages.
  • Psychological well-being at sea  – Self-help guide explaining the meaning of positive mental health and psychological wellbeing, how to recognize the risks to wellbeing, and how to maximize psychological wellbeing.
  • Steps to positive mental health  – Self-help guide detailing some skills, exercises and coping strategies to help deal with emotions when life becomes stressful or mood is low.
  • Mind  – Well-known mental health charity that provides resources and advice to empower anyone struggling with their mental health. 
  • Togetherall  – Get support, take control & feel better. An online community of members, who support, help each other and share what’s troubling them in a safe, anonymous and stigma-free environment – monitored 24/7 by trained clinicians. This support network allows members to self-help through peer support, guided support programmes, resources and advice. Facility is also available for one to one online therapy with accredited counsellors and cognitive behavioural therapists. Based on where you’re located there may be a subscription cost (e.g. free access for various UK* and NZ locations).
  • Seafarers Hospital Society - [*UK Specific] a long-established charity dedicated to meeting the health, welfare and advice needs of seafarers, offers free access for UK-based seafarers to togetherall (formely the Big White Wall).

Helplines

  • Sailors’ Society Crisis Response Network  A rapid response trauma care and counselling service for survivors of piracy attacks, natural disasters and crises at sea.
  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)  [UK Specific] A helpline (5pm–midnight, 365 days a year) for people, particularly men, who are down or have ‘hit a wall’ for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support.
  • SeafarerHelp  Free, confidential, multi-lingual 24-hour helpline for all seafarers and families provided by ISWAN (International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network). Helpline for various issues including low mood, bullying and harassment, etc.

 

Peer interaction

For online social networks to connect with your peers, read current industry news and updates or join discussion forums to have your say: 

Crewtoo 

One of the world’s largest online networks of the seafaring community, with more than 112,000 members
Safety4Sea  A maritime portal dedicated to providing updates with the aim to enhance maritime safety and promote sustainable shipping
gCaptain  A maritime and offshore website dedicated to building an interactive community of maritime professionals with more than 600,000 unique viewers per month
Seafarers’ Links (The Silver Line)  [UK only] Free, regular, group conversation telephone calls run by trained facilitators for seafarers, families or carers with seafaring connections.  They offer an easy way to connect with people who have a maritime background, to make new friends, and to share stories and experiences of life at sea. 

 

Fatigue

For information on fatigue see the programme we have developed in addition to the information contained below: 

  • ISWAN’s Managing stress and sleeping well at sea  – Self-guide which aims to help seafarers understand stress and its effects and offers practical strategies to recognize stress and cope effectively. It also provides advice on how seafarers can manage fatigue at sea and get the most from their sleep.
  • AMSA’s fatigue guidelines  – Guide providing information in a simplified format on the causes, consequences and management of fatigue. This guide is primarily aimed at assisting those managing and operating regulated Australian vessels and foreign vessels. However, the principles outlined are equally applicable to other maritime operations, including domestic commercial vessels.
  • MARTHA project  – Report for ship management to consider based an EU-funded project that ran from 2013-2016 with the central purpose to examine the factors which contribute to seafarers’ fatigue. 

 

Please note

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