Industry figures to debate impact of technology on seafarers’ mental health at Singapore Maritime Week

Maritime charity The Mission to Seafarers has announced a major industry conference on the impact of technology on crew mental health and what this means for safety within the industry.

Taking place on 22nd April 2020 as part of Singapore Maritime Week, this free-to-attend conference features two expert keynote speakers: Dr Grahaeme Henderson, Vice President, Shipping & Maritime, Shell and Nick Chubb, Founder of Thetius. They will speak alongside four expert panellists who will be inviting the industry to share, learn, and discuss how technology can enhance crew mental health in the digital age and how this impacts safety.

Following on from the Mission’s successful London International Shipping Week conference, this event has a specific focus on the Asian market, a key hub for shipping business providers and crewing agencies, and home to the largest number of seafarers. Panellists will debate the effects  that rapid rates of technological development are having on seafarers and will draw on the latest research, evidence and experiences to both inform and guide the industry as it strives to make improvements to seafarer wellbeing.

The Mission will also be sharing more information on its new ‘WeCare’ programme. The global training initiative aims to address rising levels of stress among seafarers brought on by financial pressures and the misuse of social networking platforms. The Mission will be giving insight into the positive outcome that this programme has produced over the past six months, particularly through some of its pilot workshops with Magsaysay, Pandiman, V.Group, BHP, Synergy Group and the Women of the Philippine Independent Church (WOPIC).

Commenting on the event, Ben Bailey, Director of Advocacy and Regional Engagement for The Mission to Seafarers, said: “We are delighted to be hosting iTechnology: Enhancing Crew Mental Health in the Digital Age, and what does this mean for safety. This will be a great opportunity to discuss how the industry can work together towards the shared goal of improving seafarers mental wellbeing, particularly in a region which has such a close interaction with seafarers and an understanding of their needs. A healthy and happy crew leads to a better working environment, safer conditions, improved staff retention, lower costs of repatriation, lower risk of accidents, and better morale.

“This conference will also draw on the findings of the latest Seafarers Happiness Index which demonstrates that crews who have good quality, low-cost access to the internet and good communication with their families are far happier than those who do not. We look forward to seeing where this discussion leads the panel, and the priorities that we can identify for the industry.”

The confirmed list of speakers are: Dr Grahaeme Henderson, Vice President, Shipping & Maritime, Shell; Nick Chubb, Founder, Thetius; Ben Bailey, Director, The Mission to Seafarers; Fared Khan, Marine Director, Wallem; David Barrow, Vice-President for Marine & Offshore South Asia Zone, Bureau Veritas; and Sandra Welch, Deputy CEO, Sailors’ Society.