(www.MaritimeCyprus.com) The Covid-19 pandemic has led to widespread concerns over its effects on peopleâs lives and employment, while seafarers are also anxious about their families and loved ones back home.
Anxieties about how worrying events may evolve can affect the wellbeing of seafarers. Unpleasant thoughts and feelings can escalate quickly, making it difficult for those on board to find the energy to follow their daily routine and to concentrate on their work tasks.
Although seafarers access news and hear stories from home, they may feel disconnected and unable to engage. The resulting impact on their mental wellness and welfare should not be ignored.
If left undetected, or if seafarers do not have the opportunity to process these thoughts and feelings, or have not had the opportunity to develop coping strategies, it is feasible that they can become overwhelmed and potentially suffer from depression or psychosis.
This pandemic has highlighted a need for more guidance on how to manage crew welfare and mental wellness management and, with this in mind, INTERTANKOâs Human Element in Shipping Committee (HEiSC) prepared these recommendations, which are written especially, but not exclusively, for crewing managers and shore-side staff.
The guidance includes advice on helping seafarers to deal with emotional stress and overcome negative feelings. While this guidance has been written during the Covid-19 global pandemic, the key principles are applicable at any time.
We would like to extend particular thanks to Eaglestar for allowing HEiSC to use its internal guidance in the development of this document.
The advice and recommendations that follow have been developed for the consideration of shore-side staff when providing practical guidance to leadership teams on how to manage crew that may be experiencing stress as a result of prolonged service onboard.
While this guidance is aimed at non-healthcare professionals, if in any doubt, guidance from health professionals should always be sought.
This guidance considers three key areas:
- Understanding Seafarersâ Needs
- Advice on Addressing Seafarersâ Needs
- Special Focus on Cyber Wellness
Firstly launched in late June 2020, INTERTANKO developed guidance and recommendations on Crew Welfare and Mental Wellness for crewing managers and shore-side staff. Following extensive use and feedback, the 'Crew Welfare Management and Mental Wellness' guide has now been updated and is presented as a second edition.
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