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Seafarer mental health is focus of industry-backed, training program

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Seafarer mental health and well-being program by KVH Videotel is available free of charge

OCTOBER 17, 2018 — KVH Videotel has introduced a new training package, “Seafarers’ Mental Health and Wellbeing,” that will be available free of charge throughout the industry due to the critical importance of the topic.

Produced in association with the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN), the training package includes s a short video, facilitator notes, and information booklets from ISWAN on mental health issues at sea.

“Seafarers face unique working conditions which can put them under tremendous stress, with fewer opportunities for relief than they would be likely to find on land,” says KVH senior vice president Mark Woodhead. “This program not only presents information from industry experts but also lets seafarers themselves tell their own story in interviews and short statements, describing the path to achieving happiness.”

If left unaddressed, seafarer’s stress can result in lowered morale, increased human error, lifestyle illnesses, decreased productivity, burnout, and mental health issues.

“Seafarers Mental Health and Wellbeing” focuses on what seafarers can do to cope with the challenges. It underlines the importance of rest, diet, team activities, and maintaining good relationships. Talking to a trusted person onboard ship may help, and there is also help available outside the ship such as the 24/7 multilingual helpline and chat service at SeafarerHelp.org, as well as the work of port-based organisations such as Mission to Seafarers.

“Seafarers’ Mental Health and Wellbeing” was produced industry support. Steering group members include: Anglo-Eastern Ship Management Ltd; Associated British Ports; International Maritime Employers’ Council; International Maritime Organization (IMO); “K” Line LNG Shipping (UK) Limited; The Mission to Seafarers; Nautilus International; Sailors’ Society; Shell International Ltd; The Shipowners’ Club; Swire Pacific Offshore; John H. Whitaker (Tankers) Ltd.

Seafarers UK and other organizations are assisting with distribution and promotion of the training package.

You can obtain “Seafarers Mental Health and Wellbeing” HERE


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