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IMarEST announces 1st Global Conference for Seafarer Mental Health and Wellbeing

Posted on: 23 April 2021

The 1st Global Conference for Seafarer Mental Health and Wellbeing has been announced for 25 – 26 May 2021. The IMarEST event, supported by Maritime London and other industry’s bodies and organisations, will bring together key stakeholders from across the maritime sector to discuss the critical issue and identify practical solutions to better support the needs of seafarers around the world.

The focus for the virtual conference, which will take place using the IMarEST’s online event platform, will be on intervention and defining industry best practice, as well as increasing monitoring and agreeing key areas of improvement.

In a 2020 industry-wide survey on seafarer wellbeing, conducted by Lloyd’s Register, 54%of seafarers felt they were not being actively helped to manage levels of stress and fatigue. The research also highlighted the significant crew-change crisis impacting both seafarers and their families during a tumultuous year for the maritime industry. However, seafarer mental health and wellbeing was already an area of concern before the pandemic, with issues such as isolation, fatigue and stress commonly reported.

In 2019 the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health found that “significantly more seafarers report being happy or very happy at home than report being happy or very happy on board”. In the same study, 55% of employer respondents stated that their companies had not introduced any policies or practices to address seafarers’ mental health in the last ten years. In contrast, the latest The Mission to Seafarers’ Happiness Index highlighted the positive impact that small-scale solutions and investments with regard to connectivity, food and social activities have made to life on board.

Co-Chair of the event, Captain Panos Stavrakakis MBA MSc PhD CEng FIMarEST, comments: “The two-day conference programme will look at practical approaches and highlight solutions that can be implemented to tackle ongoing issues. It’s an incredibly important area and one that has not been properly addressed by the industry, until now. Together we need to raise awareness, overcome stigma and understand the effects of working at sea.”

Attendees can register for the event via the IMarEST’s website here.

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