ITF Seafarers’ Trust announces two new initiatives for seafarers’ welfare and mental wellbeing

June 27, 2018
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A screenshot of the MARI-WEL course platform

On Day of the Seafarer on Monday, which this year focused on ‘Seafarers’ Wellbeing’, the ITF Seafarers’ Trust announced that it is launching a ground-breaking seafarer welfare training programme, and commissioning a new piece of research related to seafarers’ mental health.

‘MARI-WEL’ Professional Development Programme:

The ITF Seafarers’ Trust and the World Maritime University have partnered to create a new seafarer welfare training programme designed to equip maritime professionals with key skills and knowledge to support the welfare of seafarers.

The Maritime Welfare (MARI-WEL) Professional Development Programme is the first programme of its kind to deliver a comprehensive overview of the topics and issues that relate to seafarer welfare. It will be delivered as a distance learning course via an innovative online portal consisting of a series of videos, lectures, and activities – enabling participants to follow the programme from anywhere in the world. Covering three separate modules, the programme provides participants with flexibility to follow the course at their own speed, and offline if need be.

Led by world-leading experts in the field of seafarer rights, regulations, and welfare issues, the three modules cover the following areas:

Module 1: international regulations, conventions, codes, and seafarers’ rights
Module 2: psycho-social and occupational health relating to seafarers
Module 3: crew & resource management and land-based seafarer welfare

MARI-WEL is designed to meet the needs of anyone who works with or interacts with seafarers, both on board and onshore. This includes ship management companies, crewing agencies, port chaplains and welfare providers.

The first MARI-WEL programme will commence on 1 August. A limited number of scholarships will be available as well as potential discounts for multiple participants from the same organisation and/or applicants from smaller welfare organisations and charities. For a preview of the MARI-WEL programme and to register your interest, visit

Supporting seafarers’ wellbeing with new research:

With a view to increasing understanding of the strains on seafarers’ mental health, the ITF Seafarers’ Trust has commissioned a piece of important new research with Yale University.

The project will examine risk factors associated with seafarers’ stress levels, depression and anxiety to reduce stigma around mental illness in shipping as well as the suffering of those affected. The ultimate goal is to identify factors in the sector that could be changed to reduce the risks and opportunities for intervention to prevent harm.

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