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Maritime sector comes together to raise awareness during Mental Health Week

From 18 – 24 May is #MentalHealthAwareness week and this year the theme is ‘Kindness’. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity.

Mental health awareness has never been a more critical topic and we are encouraging the maritime sector to come together and share acts of kindness. Acts of kindness can include:

Talk: check in with your friends, family and colleagues regularly. A quick phone call or text to let them know you’re thinking of them can make the world of difference.

Listen: Encourage your loved ones to speak to you if they’re struggling or are feeling anxious about something. You can even use social media to let those who follow you know that you’re happy to listen if they need a chat and perhaps don’t have family or friends they can talk to. Sharing your feelings really does lighten the burden.

Be Conscious: We don’t need to see the impact of our random acts of kindness to know that we’re making a difference.. Next time you notice litter when you go for a walk, pick it up and dispose of it. Check whether your local café has a ‘suspended coffee’ scheme and buy a hot drink for someone in need.

Support: Look out for one another. If somebody you know is a carer, call them and ask if you can help them in any way. Knowing that you’re helping to ease the pressure for others will make both them and you feel good.

Community: Get to know your neighbours. Check that they are okay and find out if you can help them with anything such a gardening or shopping. Consider volunteering for local community groups.

Give: When you go to the supermarket, buy an extra tin of something to add to the food-bank collection point. If you can, find out whether your local hospitals, hospices, and charities are in need of any items that you could donate.

Maritime UK and its newly founded Mental Health in Maritime Network is now seeking to connect individuals across different sectors of maritime, both at sea and ashore, to join the Network. Networks offer a safe, open space to connect, collaborate and break down barriers. “By launching this new network we are bringing the maritime sector together as a community to break down barriers and to share information and best practice. Now, more than ever, it is critical to have a cohesive and effective message around mental health” says Stuart Pollard, Head of Health, Safety and Wellbeing, Port of London Authority and Chair, Mental Health in Maritime Network.

Debbie Cavaldoro, Head of Strategy and Policy, Nautilus International and Co-Chair Diversity in Maritime Taskforce states: “Looking after your mental health is as important as looking after your physical health. In these strange times it can be difficult to find the space for both, but it has never been more important. By launching the new Mental Health network we want to bring together maritime professionals to support each other and develop resources to help the wider maritime community. The most important way to look after your mental health is to talk openly and honestly about it and this network is a great place to start that conversation.”

Caitlin Vaughan, Project Manager, International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network and Vice Chair, Mental Health in Maritime Network states: “The current crisis has caused stress and worry for many people around the world. Workers in the maritime sector –and seafarers in particular – have been under extreme pressure to keep moving vital supplies around the world while facing a number of challenges. It’s essential now more than ever that this often overlooked workforce have access to resources that could make a difference and free 24 hour support such as SeafarerHelp”.
Source: Maritime UK

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