Remaining Resilient after Traumatic Events’: New Mental Health & Welfare Leaflet published

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Human Rights at Sea is very pleased to announce the publishing of a new mental health welfare leaflet ‘Remaining Resilient after Traumatic Events’ for the benefit of seafarers, fishermen, their friends and family tackling the issue of how to remain resilient after a traumatic event.

This new resource has been produced in time for the UK Mental Health awareness week and is freely available to download from the Human Rights at Sea website publications page.

Authored by Professor Neil Greenberg of March on Stress, on behalf of Human Rights at Sea, the leaflet follows on from the ‘Managing Traumatic Stress’ guidance that was published through The Nautical Institute in 2016:

The leaflet has been sponsored by Seafarers UK through its grant to the charity, and it is supported and to be disseminated by The Fishermen’s Mission, the National Federation of Fisheries Organisations, the Apostleship of the Sea, Thomas Miller P&I (Europe) Ltd and the Sailors Society.

Deborah Layde, Director of Grants, Seafarers UK commented that: “The stigma of mental health is slowly beginning to decrease in UK society. As a consequence we are seeing many Seafarers UK supported projects where seafarers feel more able to discuss their mental health issues, with projects that look at both preventative and palliative measures. For seafarers internationally that is not necessarily the case and Seafarers UK continues to encourage and support work to help seafarers in need, whether it be as a result of piracy, or kidnapping or those suffering from human rights abuses”.

From the welfare sector, Martin Foley, National Director, Apostleship of the Sea said: “Apostleship of the Sea welcomes this guidance. When our chaplains meet seafarers with mental health problems it is enormously helpful to be able to refer to expert guidance such as this Human Rights at Sea leaflet. I am confident this guidance will contribute to improving the mental health of seafarers.”

From the fisheries sector, Robert Greenwood, Safety and Training Officer, National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations stated that: “The UK Fishing Industry has had its share of traumatic events, and whilst we focus on reducing the chances of accidents occurring it is comforting to know that should an accident occur we can relate to this leaflet to support all those that may be affected by it. Our crews are made up of not just UK crew but European, Commonwealth and Non-EEA nationalities, and some crews may come to the UK with problems that this leaflet may also help with, we often forget that everyone has a past. Our work with Human Rights at Sea over the last few years has helped us to take stock and make sure we are doing our best in supporting all crews on UK vessels.”

From a P&I perspective, Sophia Bullard, Crew Health Programme Director, Thomas Miller P&I (Europe) Ltd commented that: “Mental health enquiries are the most common of our member questions yet we are aware although there are a multitude of articles produced on physical ailments and illnesses very little has been produced as a positive and constructive aid to mental health.”

She went on to say: “Seafarers, the life blood of the shipping industry, can be at increased risk of health issues due to the stresses of their work, long work hours and the distance it often puts between them and their loved ones.  This is why the UK P&I Club Crew Health Programme proactively encourages education and support for seafarers to combat the possibility of mental health issues. Information such as the Post Trauma leaflet produced by Human Rights at Sea is an excellent guide and point of referral for anyone experiencing, or those supporting others who are suffering from mental health issues.”

David Hammond, CEO, Human Rights at Sea rounded up by stating that: “I am very grateful for all the peer reviews and superb cross-industry engagement with our latest publication covering mental health and welfare for the seafaring community. This leaflet is freely available to all who come into contact with persons who may have suffered traumatic stress and the consequences of such incidents, and it highlights key signs and symptoms post-incident to be aware of, along with helpful tips and hints for coping strategies. Should other organisations wish to become formally engaged with us on this topic and specifically with this guidance, please do get in contact.”