Survey to benchmark employer approaches to mental health support

Crew member sitting alone on a vessel. Credit: Hasenpusch Dietmar

The promotional body for the UK maritime sector, Maritime UK, has launched a survey for employers in the maritime industry. The findings will be used to develop a benchmark for good mental health support.

The survey’s development follows the inaugural meeting of Maritime UK’s members in June 2020, where participants identified the need to set a benchmark to understand how mental health is managed across the sector, and to highlight areas where the Maritime UK programme will need to focus its efforts to engender positive change.

Survey components and structure were moulded on UK transport body Safer Highways’ Thriving at Work survey, which has been running for two years across a range of sectors, including road, rail, water, and construction. The survey was originally commissioned by the UK government to outline what employers can do to better support all employees – including those with mental health problems. This year, Safer Highways has introduced a tool into its survey that will allow for comparison between transport sectors. This means that the findings from the maritime industry survey can be used for inter-industry assessment of companies and approaches as well as intra-industry comparison.

The development of the maritime-specific 10-question survey by Maritime UK and Safer Highways is an early initiative from the recently launched Mental Health in Maritime Network, a part of the Diversity in Maritime programme.

“One of the aims of our Mental Health in Maritime Network is to provide a collaborative platform to share information among all maritime organisations, in support of aiding others to achieve and develop mental health management practices. By benchmarking the sector against mental health standards, we will be able to meet this aim. I’m delighted to launch the first output from the network, in partnership with Safer Highways, and urge maritime organisations to take this 10-question survey today,” said Stuart Pollard, chairman of Mental Health in Maritime Network, in a statement.

The Maritime UK network was established as a safe-space community where individuals from across the maritime sector can convene to discuss barriers to change and where employers can share best practices on how companies can promote good mental health and well-being.

Its membership includes British Marine; British Ports Association; CLIA UK & Ireland; Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers; Maritime London; Mersey Maritime; Nautilus International; Seafarers UK; Society of Maritime Industries; Solent LEP; The Baltic Exchange; UK Chamber of Shipping; and the UK Major Ports Group.

According to Maritime UK, a full report of the survey findings will be published in December 2020. The deadline for companies to complete the survey is on 30 September 2020.