Synergy Group received the SAFETY4SEA Technology Award, sponsored by Diaplous Maritime Services, for its free and confidential chat and phone based multilingual psychological helpline ‘iCall’. The APP and helpline are potentially life-saving resources for the worldwide maritime community and are run by professional, trained counselors. Other short-listed nominees for this category were: Crowley Maritime Corporation, Kongsberg Digital, Marlink and V. Group.
Presenting the award Mr. Dimitris Maniatis, Chief Commercial Officer, Diaplous Maritime Services, said “It’s a great pleasure presenting the award to Synergy Group for this initiative. iCall is there to protect the lives of our mariners that are in distress and in need.”
Accepting the award on behalf of Synergy Group, Mr. Rune Zeuthen, General Manager, Synergy Marine (Europe) A/S stated: “Truth to be told, it was the seafarers that voted for us, so this award is really for the seafarers. As a grandson of a ship captain who suffered mental health issues during his career, this is a subject very close to my heart. Taking mental health seriously is not only a social responsibility but also a business imperative. Mental health needs to be addressed, not only for human reasons but because it is the right thing to do. We believe that the mental health of our seafarers should be a part for our safety culture.”
Accepting the award on behalf of Synergy Group, Mr. Antonis Vrondissis, Vice President QHSE and Vetting, Navios Group added: “We have our focus on safety and operational excellence. Mental health should be in the agenda for anyone that believes in a strong safety culture. Based on the welfare of seafarers, many are those who suffer from impair of psychological wellbeing, including social isolation and depression. It is a great credit that they are all using their expertise and reputation to address seafarer wellness which is an issue of utmost importance to us all. iCall is a lifesaving resource for the worldwide seafarer community and is a critical new approach to managing safety.”
Seafarers often find it difficult to open up about their thoughts of suicide because of the fear of being judged or isolated. In this context, Synergy Marine Group offers ‘iCall’ - an anonymous and confidential psychological counselling service, available free of cost. iCALL provides a supportive and non – judgmental space for anyone who is feeling vulnerable and suicidal. iCALL consists of a team of professional and trained counselors. Counsellors at iCALL are equipped to view and address concerns from the psychosocial lens, which is aimed at understanding the different levels at which an individual may require help and support. iCALL counselors are trained not just in helping with emotional stabilization during crisis, but also in providing long term therapy for distress. iCALL services are available on telephone, e-mail and chat and it can be easily downloaded on any Android or iOS phone with the ‘nULTA- Ask Doctor by Chat’ app.
Synergy Group attracted the most votes by the end of the voting period which held online during a two-month period. SAFETY4SEA Awards are held annually within the scope of awarding industry’s outstanding practices for Excellence, Sustainability, Training, Technology, Initiative and Leadership. Other winners of the 2019 SAFETY4SEA Awards are: Alpha Bulkers Shipmanagement Inc. for the Dry Bulk Operator Award, Springfield Shipping Co. for the Tanker Operator Award, Sustainable Shipping Initiative for the Initiative Award, Metropolitan College/ Warshash Maritime Academy for the Training Award, North of England P&I Club for the Initiative Award, Mr. Dimitrios Fafalios, INTERCARGO for the Leadership Award and Dr. Sadan Kaptanoglu, BIMCO for the Personality award.
Find photos from the awards ceremony at Flickr and explore more about the nomination & voting procedure and the winners of 2019 SAFETY4SEA Awards at https://events.safety4sea.com/2019-safety4sea-awards/