Putting seafarer mental health at the top of the agenda

The Maritime Standard will focus on the crucial and increasingly pressing issue of seafarer mental health at its next Covid-19: A Leadership Perspective webinar.

The theme of the webinar, on April 7th, 12:30pm UAE time, will be ‘Putting seafarer mental health at the top of the agenda’ and the event will feature panellists from different sectors of the shipping business, as well as the faith and medical communities, who will assess the steps that are needed to turn the many fine words that have been expressed on this topic to concrete action.

There is growing evidence that the pandemic has had a detrimental impact on seafarer mental health and that the situation is getting worse not better. Key workers who have kept global economies going despite Covid, seafarers have been affected more than most other sectors, with well documented crew change issues leading to long stays onboard and increased incidents of loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and depression.

There is a growing consensus, however, that Covid-19 has highlighted a systemic problem and that mental health has to become a ‘lasting conversation’ in the maritime sector. Even after the pandemic is over the mental health of seafarers has to be firmly embedded at the top of the agenda for ship owners and operators worldwide.

Confirmed speakers include: Chris Peters, CEO, Tristar (Eships); Ali Shehab, Director of Maritime Advisory Services, BSICO; Revd. Canon Andy Bowerman, Regional Director, The Mission to Seafarers; Roger Harris, Executive Director, ISWAN; Dr Yasser Al Wahedi, Director, Abu Dhabi Maritime Academy; Dr Fahad Al-Obaid, Medical Advisor, Kuwait Oil Tanker Company.

Topics proposed for discussion include: What types of mental health support do seafarers need in the short and long term?; Developing permanent, sustainable approaches to good seafarer mental health; How can the crew change problems be solved to ease mental health pressures onboard?; What actions should ship owners and operators be taking to support their crews? What are good examples of best practice?; How can physical wellbeing and good nutrition help mental wellbeing?; Overcoming isolation and loneliness; Spotting the warning signs; The importance of specialist training in dealing with mental health problems onboard; Getting shore to ship communication right; The risks faced by young cadets in particular; Ensuring the right professional and medical support is available; The role of flag states.

The webinar will feature a series of questions posed by the moderator, Clive Woodbridge, in the first half. Then, in the second half, there will be an opportunity for a global online audience to put their own questions to the panel.

Places are strictly limited, and free registrations are open now by visiting the following link: https://bit.ly/3rJZY02