The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) will deliver its Maritime Mental Health Awareness (MMHA) training to 3,500 officers at Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) over the next two years.
The partnership will see ISWAN’s experienced network of Associate Trainers deliver six training sessions per month over a two-year period to officers on BSM-managed vessels. BSM is fully committed to ensuring that its officers are equipped with the essential skills and knowledge needed to be effective leaders, but the programme’s learnings will expand beyond officers to benefit all ranks of BSM’s crew (photo courtesy BSM).
This new training contract is the latest way in which BSM is partnering proactively with ISWAN to improve seafarers’ welfare, both within the company as well as in the wider industry. BSM is an active, engaged member of ISWAN and recently participated in phase two of ISWAN’s Social Interaction Matters (SIM) Project, in which a sample group of vessels trialled social engagement initiatives on board to investigate the impact on crew.
ISWAN also operates a 24-hour, independent emotional support helpline for BSM crew who can reach out any time of the day or night and speak to a member of the ISWAN helpline team for confidential and non-judgemental support.
The new training contract will complement the helpline service – which reports quarterly, anonymised, top line trending issues – in enabling BSM to respond to the mental health needs of its crew with preventative measures.
BSM’s Head of Fleet Personnel Development & Compliance Stewart Bankier said: “We are very excited by this new training contract focussed purely on our seafarers’ wellbeing and we are again grateful for ISWAN’s support and expertise in this area.
“This training will have wide reaching benefit for the entire company as well as our clients and we are very happy to continue investing in our people on the frontline.”
ISWAN’s Projects and Relationships Manager Georgia Allen said: “BSM is a shining example of a company that is working hard to prioritise the welfare and wellbeing of its crew. They recognise that there is work to be done to educate their staff about the importance of mental health and they are making all the necessary steps to do so.
“This new training partnership is a valuable addition to existing BSM mental health initiatives, including formal policy development and the provision of ISWAN’s confidential support services for their seafarers. Their consistently active use of their ISWAN membership is a great example of the mutual benefits of becoming an ISWAN member.”