This week the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is featuring mental health and wellbeing challenges in the maritime industry

This week the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is featuring mental health and wellbeing challenges in the maritime industry

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is featuring in a number of panel discussions which explore a range of topics focused on mental health and wellbeing challenges faced by those in the maritime industry.

Tying in with this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 (May 10-16), Pav Hart-Premkumar, who is Human Element Policy Specialist at the MCA, was one of the guest speakers at an event hosted by the IMarEST: Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology earlier this week.

Pav discussed, among other topics related to seafarers’ mental and physical wellbeing, two books that have been published by the MCA to help people deal with the challenges of being at sea for long periods of time; as well as the MCA’s commitment to the Maritime UK Mental Health in Maritime Pledge.

The guides: ‘Wellbeing at Sea: A Guide for Organisations’ and ‘Wellbeing at Sea: A Pocket Guide for Seafarers’ were created last year by the MCA in consultation with unions, ship owners and maritime charities; and seek to address a range of mental, emotional and physical issues crew might experience on a day-to-day basis on board vessels.

Pav said: “The panel discussion was an exciting and excellent opportunity to bring together people from across the industry to communicate the key challenges the maritime industry is facing, and to look at ways we can continue to provide support to seafarers so that they can carry on providing their vital services. 

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“The MCA is continuing to work with and support industry colleagues to ensure that seafarers’ mental health and wellbeing is being supported positively, both in the short and long-term.” 

A recording of the session is set to be available in due course.

Monday’s panel discussion happened ahead of IMarEST’s upcoming first Global Conference for Seafarer Mental Health and Wellbeing, which will run between May 25-26 and look at practical solutions to assisting seafarers. Hazel Lewis, who is Seafarer Safety and Human Element Policy Manager at the MCA, will join Pav in being part of this Conference Committee discussion.

Hazel will also speak at a virtual coffee morning session, hosted by the Workboat Association, on Thursday May 20.

The event, which is open for anyone to attend, is being supported by the MCA along with Seafarers Hospital Society, Maritime UK, Mission of Seafarers and Sail Seafarers Advice and Information Live (SAIL).

“It’s important that the industry continues to be really proactive in a wide-ranging commitment to raise standards of wellbeing for seafarers and confront mental health challenges,” Hazel said. “A meet like this is a brilliant opportunity to strengthen and extend communication channels between key stakeholders,”.

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Spotlight on mental health and wellbeing challenges in the maritime industry

by editor time to read: 7 min