15% of deaths at sea are by suicide. The key question to ask when shocking tragedies onboard come to light is this: do they signify social isolation? And, what leads to seafarers’ social isolation? Recent SAFETY4SEA Poll finds that seafarers want their work to be less stressful. Increased workload and the subsequent fatigue were reported the biggest obstacles for social life onboard gathering 38% of our readers’ votes, surpassing other “barriers” like isolation from family (10%), connectivity (19%); bureaucracy (17%) and team bonding (16%).
September 10 marked the World Suicide Prevention Day through activities including educational and commemorative events, press briefings and conferences, as well as Facebook and Twitter coverage. But is that enough to support our seafarers before it’s too late?
ISWAN launched a free, confidential helpline for seafarers, which is now available on the instant messaging app Viber. SeafarerHelp is available on Viber from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 18:00, UK time. Any messages received outside these hours will be responded to within the mentioned times. The app uses the device’s internet connection to send messages and make calls.
ISWAN has published the 2015 Annual Review for SeafarerHelp which reveals that last year has been busy for the SeafarerHelp team, with a 17% increase in the number of cases compared to 2014. Cases and seafarers helped have tripled since 2011, as seafarers have become more aware of the support SeafarerHelp team can provide.
SeafarerHelp Assisted Over 6,400 Seafarers in 2013
ISWAN issues 2013 Annual Review for SeafarerHelp
A free 24 hour multi-lingual helpline for seafarers run by ISWAN
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