In a first for the maritime industry the Sailors' Society has launched a series of virtual global wellness and mental health conferences designed for maritime cadets.
These will consist of four online events to be held between August and October 2022, exploring key and current issues facing cadets today – from handling stress and workloads to crisis situations such as the war in Ukraine, and diversity in the maritime workforce.
Sailors' Society is working with maritime colleges in Greece, India, the Philippines, and Africa and students at participating colleges in those regions will be offered the conferences free, although a voluntary donation is encouraged to the Society.
Each event is tailored to that region, in terms of speakers and culture, but with core content that will be covered at all of the conferences. Interested UK cadets interested are welcome to sign up, the charity says.
While the conferences are still in their early days, with a successful pilot event held in India last year, they may be expanded into other locations next year if there is enough interest.
Sailors' Society's CEO Sara Baade said: 'Seafarers are the key workers of the sea. They serve at the frontline of international supply chains, supporting global economies – so it's essential that their wellbeing is cared for right from the beginning of their careers.
'Our maritime schools' conferences aren't just a first; they are aimed at proactive investment in young minds. These events recognise that today's cadets are tomorrow's workforce and future leaders.'
Hosted online with technical support from The UK P&I Club, the conferences will be chaired by Johan Smith, Sailors' Society's head of wellness and lead on the charity's Wellness at Sea programme.
The online content was developed after the pilot in India in 2021, building on the charity's existing wellness training and support programme. More than 1,800 delegates registered for the pilot webinar, which served 19 maritime schools.
Feedback at this event was overwhelmingly positive, with more than 95 percent of those surveyed saying they had a better understanding of wellbeing following the conference and 100 percent saying it had given them better preparation for a future career at sea.
- view more information on the Sailors' Society maritime schools conferences
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