Mental Health Awareness Week
Research has shown that two thirds of us experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes, and stress is a key factor in this. Monday 14th May marks the start of ‘Mental Health Awareness’ Week, which this year is focusing on stress and how to manage it in order to improve our mental health.Crew are especially susceptible to stress, as their jobs can sometimes involve social isolation, high pressure and sleep disruption. All of these factors combined can have an extremely negative impact on mental health, leaving them unable to cope with the stresses of everyday life.
At the UK Club we recognise the importance of promoting positive mental health and wellbeing for all those at Sea. Our Crew Health department are working hard to raise awareness of the importance of good mental health and supporting Captains and Officers in creating a working environment free from stress.
Below are a few ways the Club is currently involved in supporting good mental health:
Crew Health Advice
- Our latest Crew Health Advice looks at stress and how it can be managed at Sea.
- Our Crew Health team have produced an advice sheet for Crew Members on how to tackle mental health issues, spot warning signs and what to do if they or a colleague needs help.
- Our ‘recognising the signs’ poster also provides a quick reference for any Crew Members concerned they are displaying signs of poor mental health.
- Recently The UK Club was visited by Sailors’ Society who gave a talk on the Wellness at Sea training programme and how it is benefiting those at sea. You can read more on this in Claim Executive Laura Grant’s blog post here.
- You can also read past blog posts which focus on mental health here and here.
Sailors Society As mentioned above the Club has strong links with Sailors Society and supports the Wellness at Sea training programme. Stuart Edmonston and Sophia Bullard from the Loss Prevention Team are Sailors’ Society Ambassadors, working with a group of key supporters from the Shipping Industry to promote the work of the charity. The Programme aims to improve emotional well-being through early identification of mental health issues (including stress) and promotes the empowerment of the seafarer to handle challenging situations at sea.
You can read more about the charity on our dedicated webpage here. The Crew Health and People Claims team representatives regularly meet with the major seafarer charities including Apostleship of the Seas, Mission to Seafarers, ISWAN, Sailors’ Society and the Seafarers International Research Centre (SIRC). Through these meetings and discussions with our charity partners the UK Club provides an essential conduit for information and ideas to be shared across the industry.
Our Loss Prevention team often give talks and presentations around Crew mental health and wellbeing at relevant events. A recent example is our Crew Health Director Sophia Bullard who presented on the role of UK P&I Club and the mental health of seafarers at the Nautical Institute last month. You can find out more about this here. Keep an eye on our online Events Calendar for future events linked to mental health. For further information please contact our Crew Health Director Sophia Bullard at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Sailors' Society 200th Anniversary Reception
On Wednesday 6th June 2018 I attended an anniversary reception held at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. The invite came from Stephen Morgan, MP for Portsmouth, and was for a special reception to mark 200 years of the Sailors’ Society.