Talking to someone is a sensible coping strategy when help is needed and friends, family and colleagues might all offer much needed support, but sometime it is preferable and easier to open up to someone you don’t already know and who won’t be judgemental, but instead will listen in confidence and perhaps offer a different perspective.
There are many support organisations that can help including a wide network of welfare centres based in ports.
Some of the more prominent, wide reaching and established organisations are;
The Mission to Seafarers
The Mission to Seafarers (MtS) has port chaplains and welfare officers in over 200 ports in 50 countries. They operate a network of seafarers’ centres in 121 locations caring for seafarers of all ranks, nationalities and beliefs. All chaplains are trained in resilience issues and pastoral care and can provide free, confidential support to individuals and crew. More widely, the organisation provides seafarers’ family support networks in the Philippines and India and access to communication and recreation facilities while in port.
Sailors’ Society is an international charity that provides a wide range of support services, including port chaplains, ship visitors and a Wellness at Sea training programme. They have a global presence in 30 countries.
Stella Maris is a charity for seafarers and their families and has port chaplains and seafarer centres in many parts of the world. The organisation’s port chaplains and ship visitors give care and support to seafarers regardless of belief, nationality or race.
International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN)
ISWAN operate SeafarerHelp providing direct welfare services to seafarers and Mind Call, on behalf of North, specifically to provide crew with a helpline for emotional welfare issues, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. ISWAN also runs an emergency welfare fund for seafarers in dire need, produces health information for seafarers and provides information on the location of seafarer centres.