Any crew members
struggling or feeling lonely this holiday period can access support day or night,
from anywhere in the world, through the International Seafarers’ Welfare and
Assistance Network’s (ISWAN) free, confidential helpline service.
This time of year
can be tough and lonely for seafarers spending the holidays at sea away from
loved ones. For those at home unable to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic,
financial pressures and other worries are ever present.
ISWAN is spreading
the word that support is available to seafarers at a time of year when many
businesses and industries usually close. Any seafarer who needs someone to talk
to can call or send a message to ISWAN’s SeafarerHelp at any time, and
professional yacht crew can contact ISWAN’s Yacht Crew Help. Both helplines are
available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so someone will always be at the end
of the phone or online on Live Chat to offer a listening ear.
Seafarers have faced countless mental health challenges during the
From April 2020 to
March 2021, ISWAN’s helpline team handled more than 20,000 calls and messages.
During this period, ISWAN’s helplines received double the usual number of calls
and messages related to suicides or suicidal thoughts. Seafarers have faced
countless mental health challenges resulting from the effects of the COVID-19
pandemic. Both SeafarerHelp and Yacht Crew Help are available for any crew
member, whether they are experiencing a mental health crisis or feeling low or
lonely during the holiday period.
ISWAN’s Chief Executive Officer, said: ‘A third of the world’s population will
be celebrating Christmas and, whether they realise it or not, will have been
totally reliant on seafarers to make it possible. But for many seafarers and
their families, there will be no rest because the supply chain never stops.
ISWAN’s SeafarerHelp and Yacht Crew Help services will be there throughout to
support them; it’s the least we can do.’
Seafarers can make sure they have a direct line to ISWAN’s helpline
Seafarers can make
sure they have a direct line to ISWAN’s helpline team and offline access to
guidance by downloading the free ISWAN for Seafarers app, which is available
via the App Store and Google Play. Launched earlier this year, the app has so
far been downloaded by over 2,200 seafarers worldwide.