It is known that COVID-19 has had a wide-spread impact on the mental health and wellbeing of those working in maritime transport, with many of those unable to return home for months. Therefore, Maritime UK launched the Mental Health in Maritime Pledge.
Namely, the pledge forms a key pillar of the Diversity in Maritime Programme, alongside the Gender Pledge.
In fact, it is part of the programme’s objective to ensure employee mental health and wellbeing is considered at the highest levels across the sector.
In other words, the Maritime Pledge calls upon executives to make a public commitment to improving the quality of mental health and wellbeing provision across the industry.
As explained, the Pledge calls upon executives from maritime organisations to make a public commitment, which says:
“We are committed to improving the quality of mental health and wellbeing provision through action and support, at all levels, throughout our organisation and our industry.”
By pledging to this statement, the organisation agrees to the following:
“We recognise that as executives we must be leading advocates for mental health and wellbeing, both within our organisations and in the maritime community. We aspire to work together and lead with visible action”.
According to Maritime UK, the Mental Health in Maritime Pledge commits:
- To establish working conditions and practices that foster a positive mental health state. “We will help anybody struggling with their mental health and ensure they feel safe in the knowledge they have been heard and not judged”.
- To dispel the stigma of mental health issues by establishing an open and trusting environment that allows people to listen and talk. “We will provide signposts to help from a range of recognised and trusted sources”.
- To ensure shipping workforce have the skills, knowledge, and education to help support individuals whilst working both on land and at sea.
By signing the pledge companies and other organisations in the sector will be making a public commitment to improving mental health and wellbeing for their workforce and will be asked to report against the pledge.
Among others, the first signatories of the pledge are: British Ports Association, Nautilus International, iSWAN, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, UK Chamber of Shipping, Seafarers UK, Society of Maritime Industries.
For the record, a full list of Pledge signatories along with the commitment statement can be found here.
“We know that COVID-19 has had a huge impact on mental health and wellbeing and now is the time as we move into a post-COVID world that we must stand together and commit to improving the quality of mental health and wellbeing throughout the sector. The Pledge is a huge step forward and we look forward to more signatories signing up”.
…as Sue Terpilowski, Co-Chair, Diversity in Maritime Taskforce said.
Overall, speaking of seafarers’ mental health, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) recently issued new guidance to help ship owners and managers understand the long-term wellbeing impacts of COVID-19 on their crew.