Posted: 9th October 2020
Saturday 10th October is World Mental Health Day and this year we are encouraging seafarers and operators alike to look out for each other’s mental health by using some simple tips that we have put together.
It is thought that globally, as many as 400,000 seafarers are still stranded and have either overrun their contracts or are at shore waiting to start their tours of duty.
According to the Seafarers Hospital Society seafarer mental health is one of the biggest challenges the industry faces. With so many seafarers working well beyond their normal contract period, the strain has taken its toll on the health of seafarers. In fact, suicides have become the number one source of deaths onboard ships in recent months.
At V.Group we have been working hard to get what we consider to be the world’s ‘hidden’ key workers home or indeed back to sea. So far, we have enabled 35,197 crew movements, repatriating more than 14,542 seafarers from 1,140 vessels and comprising 107 nationalities.
V.Group’s Support Centre provides 24/7 access to helplines and chat support. Enquiries were up 29% in Quarter 2 compared to Quarter One 2020. The response time to chat enquiries averages 42 seconds.
From April internet allowance was increased to help seafarers stay connected to friends and family.
V.Group’s Employee Assistance Programme helps with personal, legal and financial challenges providing confidential counselling and stress management services to help crew cope with issues including stress, depression, anxiety, divorce, grief and loss. Throughout the pandemic this has been accessed 172 times by onboard crew.
Here we have created some helpful tips for seafarers and operators to help identify and cope with poor mental health. And remember it’s ok to not be ok.