The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) drew attention to the ongoing work of the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) and its members, amid an ongoing crisis affecting mental health of thousands of seafarers globally.
Through a new Safety Alert, BMA actually raised awareness to a recent poster by ISWAN, which provides details of several organisations who are able and willing to assist seafarers during their time of need.
During this time, BMA has seen an increase in the number of mental health related issues amongst seafarers.
Therefore, the alert provides a number of measures that can and should be considered onboard:
- Greater access to sources of communication
- Recognise the signs of seafarers under stress and the impact of extended contracts, job security and repatriation is having on those seafarers
- Be mindful of the need for community support onboard
- Be aware of the pressures placed on seafarers to provide for family and friends
- Ensure where possible that social structure on board is maintained, such as ready access to stores and essentials
- Ensure access to Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) is readily available and widely publicised.
- Provide resilience training to all seafarers
Any attending inspector must be conscious of the welfare of seafarers and raise any concerns to the appropriate authority.