Free mental health training package launched

Seafarer training stresses importance of rest, diet, team activities, and good relationships. (Credit: Mike Hood; IMO)

KVH Videotel has introduced a training package, Seafarers Mental Health and Wellbeing, which will be free of charge throughout the shipping industry “due to the critical importance of the topic”.

The programme was produced in association with the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) and comprises a short video, facilitator notes, and information booklets from ISWAN on mental health issues at sea.

“Seafarers face unique working conditions that can put them under tremendous stress, with fewer opportunities for relief than they would be likely to find on land,” said Mark Woodhead, KVH senior vice-president for EMEA. “This programme not only presents information from industry experts but also lets seafarers tell their own story in interviews and short statements, describing the path to achieving happiness.”

He explained that Seafarers Mental Health and Wellbeing focused on what seafarers can do to cope with the challenges they experience but also on how to “take advantage of the many opportunities on board”. The training stresses the importance of rest, diet, team activities, and maintaining good relationships.

ISWAN’s brochures are being distributed as part of this training package, available as downloads from the KVH Videotel website.

The package was produced with “overwhelming support from within the industry”. Steering group members include Anglo-Eastern Ship Management, Associated British Ports, the International Maritime Employers’ Council, the International Maritime Organization, “K” Line LNG Shipping (UK), the Mission to Seafarers, Nautilus International, Sailors’ Society, Shell International, the Shipowners’ Club, Swire Pacific Offshore, John H Whitaker (Tankers), and Seafarers UK. Other organisations are assisting with distribution and promotion of the training package.