ISWAN’s SeafarerHelp is a free, confidential, multilingual helpline for seafarers and their families, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
ISWAN’s SeafarerHelp team was approached by an Indian seafarer who was suffering from depression and isolation. He described himself as being surrounded by fog and unable to see his future. He had lost interest in working on board, and was worried that he wouldn’t be able to carry out his duties responsibly.
This was not the first time that the seafarer had felt emotionally very low. He had previously sought help from a local professional when he was on land but could not follow up properly due to his work schedules.
The SeafarerHelp team suggested a number of ways in which the seafarer could keep himself busy and active onboard. The team also referred the seafarer to Dr Harish Shetty, a renowned psychiatrist based in Mumbai, who put the seafarer in touch with a doctor in the city where he lived.
On his return home, the seafarer met with the doctor in his town, and after counselling sessions the seafarer felt more relaxed, hopeful and positive. He wrote to SeafarerHelp: ‘I am really thankful to all personnel working in [SeafarerHelp] for providing continuous support in my life. I am very happy with the help provided by all in [SeafarerHelp]’.
The SeafarerHelp team is receiving more contacts from seafarers who are feeling isolated, depressed or stressed whilst on board and the maritime industry has acknowledged that for a variety of reasons such issues are becoming more common. SeafarerHelp is here to support seafarers with these and any other problems, and our team is available at any time of day or night throughout the year.
If you are a seafarer or family member of a seafarer and need someone to talk to, you can speak to a member of the SeafarerHelp team confidentially – all our contact details can be found at seafarerhelp.org. Make a note of our details or save them on your phone in case you ever need our help or support.