A survey conducted by ISWAN in 2018 found that 82 per cent of superyacht crew experienced low crew morale sometimes, often or always, and 55 per cent of female respondents found accessing mental health care to be an occasional or regular challenge. In order to be more visible to superyacht crew in need, ISWAN has been fundraising for Yacht Crew Help – a new online toolkit that provides crew with a direct line to free, 24-hour emotional support, guidance, and useful health and welfare resources.
Bond Technology Management has contributed a generous €10,000 to help make the new platform a reality. “Having previously been crew for many years, I recognise the topic of mental health is an issue like it is everywhere, but obtaining support and assistance whilst you are crew can be difficult,” explains Will Faimatea, director and founder of Bond TM. “Crew wellbeing is an area that can easily be overlooked.”
As well as the helpline, Faimatea appreciates that the project helps increase awareness across the industry that the mental health and wellbeing of crew is just as important as it is in other walks of life, and hopes that it will encourage everyone to learn to recognise the warning signs for themselves, as well as for others, and do what they can to assist.
“With Yacht Crew Help, crew will not have to search too far to obtain help if they think they may need it and the fact that they know help is close by may offer support and comfort.”
“With Yacht Crew Help, crew will not have to search too far to obtain help if they think they may need it and the fact that they know help is close by may offer support and comfort,” adds Faimatea. “Contributing back to the yacht industry that I am proud to be part of is in itself rewarding but what makes this even more worthwhile is being able to contribute to ISWAN to start Yacht Crew Help for those who may need it.”
Captain Brendan O’Shannassy, President of the ISS Captain’s Committee, has played a key role in the fundraising efforts that helped get the initiative off the ground. As an experienced captain, he recognises that the greatest challenge at sea is creating a safe environment where crew’s mental health and wellness are core values; “The awareness of this priority across the maritime industry is not where it should be, and neither are the support and educational tools. The ISWAN initiative is a huge step in the right direction to improve crew wellness, resilience, mental health and in turn performance.”
Further generous pledges are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, including the final amount raised by a fundraising effort from Burgess. ISWAN also thanks MHG Insurance Brokers and wilsonhalligan, who provided the initial support needed for ISWAN’s report on The Welfare of Superyacht Crew. Read previous SuperyachtNews coverage of the report here.
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