Do you know anyone experiencing mental health issues?

Seafarers and mental health issues, no longer a stigma.

By John Wyborn • 26 April 2021


Have you heard of Kelly’s Cause Foundation? A charity started for the hospitality industry, and now with the help of superyacht chef Emma Kate Ross, is being brought to our industry to help raise awareness, through SEAS THE MIND.

Her organisation is dedicated to training mentally healthy and resilient crew onboard yachts through Mental Health First Aid (MHFA).

It is the only training provider being taught by crew for crew and the only training provider able to deliver both onboard and online, wherever you are.

Do you need help today?

If you need support in the first instance we recommend contacting ISWAN, with their free SeafarerHelp multilingual helpline, available 24/7 for all seafarers and their families.

On Kelly’s Cause there is a Check-in Chat with a trained mental health first aider from hospitality who will respond to any communication, along with yacht crew and chefs available online to help.

In the UK? Text SHOUT to 85258 any time day or night. This is a free and confidential text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope.

In the United States? Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, at anytime, to contact Crisis Text Line.
A trained crisis counsellor will respond to your messages from their secure online platform.

What is the yachting industry doing to help?

Maritime UK (an umbrella organisation set up four years ago to speak for the whole UK maritime industry) created a pledge that aims to foster a positive attitude to mental health issues at sea and to remove the stigma often associated with these problems.

MYBA, the worldwide yachting association has signed the pledge, and all other organisations who sign it are promising to take active steps to promote mental health awareness.

There has been a growing realisation in recent years of the particular problems that seafarers can face in the confined environment of a ship for an extended period, with increased work pressures and long hours.
At Bluewater, our HELM facilitators will confirm this from the many in-class discussions over the last 5 years.

Mental health may well be included in the HELM syllabus during the current review being undertaken by the Merchant Navy Training Board. It is also actively being discussed at the IMO.

Don’t suffer in silence and remember that you are not alone. Contact the helplines listed above and please do share this with your fellow crew, as you don’t always know when someone is in need.

Please contact us for more details and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction if you would like help or advice or if you would like to get involved.