KVH has announced that seafarers on vessels with KVH VSAT service may place free VoIP calls to ISWAN’s SeafarerHelp hotline while at sea. SeafarerHelp is an important initiative by the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) to support mental wellbeing for seafarers around the world. The hotline is confidential, multilingual, and available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.
“We are thrilled that KVH is supporting this initiative so that seafarers can get the help they need when they need it,” said Roger Harris, Executive Director of ISWAN. “In our experience, we have seen that seafarer issues range from the simple to the complex and the most pressing need is having someone empathetic to confide in, which can be challenging in the onboard environment. This hotline is dedicated to ensuring seafarers speak to someone in time, and with KVH’s involvement they can do so without having to worry about technical issues or data costs.”
Recently, the maritime industry has begun to raise awareness around the importance of seafarers’ mental wellbeing and to support initiatives to encourage discussion. Experts note that the same everyday stresses and emotions that a seafarer experiences on land are present at sea but may be exacerbated by the challenge of being on a ship 24/7 for extended stays. Talking to someone about their issues is an important first step.
Free VoIP calls to SeafarerHelp are available immediately from KVH VSAT vessels; seafarers simply use a VoIP phone on the vessel and call the helpline: +44 (0)20 7323 2737.
A global maritime VSAT connectivity provider, KVH has a long history of providing crew wellbeing services, including news and entertainment content, basic safety training, crew calling cards, and crew data allocation for Internet connectivity. KVH recently announced a new digital news and entertainment service called KVH Link, which helps promote seafarer wellbeing via satellite delivery of daily news updates, favourite movies, TV, music, and sports.