The ITF Seafarers’ Trust is using Day of the Seafarer this year to highlight the mental wellbeing support available to seafarers.
This initiative, in collaboration with the ITF, is in response to the serious impact the Covid-19 pandemic is having on the mental health of seafarers, thousands of whom have been left stranded across the globe as a result of national lockdowns.
The Trust and the ITF will be reaching out directly to seafarers through social media to signpost a number of support services available in response to the crisis. With pressure to extend contracts and uncertainties about what the future holds, it is important that seafarers know there is help available for those dark moments.
Chair of the Trust and ITF Seafarers’ section Chair Dave Heindel said: “This situation is totally unprecedented but what it’s highlighted yet again are the unique challenges that seafarers face. As the world emerges from lockdown the role that seafarers play must be better appreciated and they have to know where they can turn for support when they’re under that kind of pressure. Seafarers are key workers and their unions are really stepping up during this emergency.”
President of the ITF Paddy Crumlin said: “Seafarers are on the frontline of this pandemic. They’ve faced isolation, months and months away from the people they love, the stress of being left in limbo by governments not willing to let them get back home – those things take their toll. Our aim is that every seafarer, no matter where they are in the world, knows how they can access help at this really tough time, they know someone has their back and the practical support that’s on offer.”
The communication to seafarers is based around three vital steps to accessing appropriate services; reflect, recognise and reach out. Today’s circumstances are creating real stress, anxiety and depression. This is a normal reaction in abnormal times. Don’t suffer alone, its ok to seek help.
Source: Seafearers’ Trust