A new good practice guide to mental health and wellbeing awareness training has been launched to help sort the wheat from the chaff in the fast-growing wellness industry.
The Seafarers' Mental Health Awareness and Wellbeing Training Standard is aimed at prospective buyers of training courses as well as potential participants.
The advisory standard sets a benchmark for training that aims to develop a keen awareness and appreciation of mental health and wellbeing among all types of seafarers, as well as those with an interest in seafaring. It includes course content, delivery and the qualification requirements of course facilitators.
Created by the Maritime Charities Group and the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB), it is written by experts from the maritime and education sectors in response to the growing mental health crisis amongst seafarers.
Author of the guide, Master Mariner and academic, Dr Chris Haughton, said: 'There are many reputable providers offering really good training courses. But the majority of those courses are generic and really don't address the specific issues facing seafarers. If you're working at sea you need a course that's much more targeted otherwise it just won’t be relevant.'
Chair of the MCG Commander Graham Hockley said: 'One in four people will develop a mental health problem during their lifetime, but the incidence amongst seafarers is much higher. The Covid-19 crisis has made the situation for seafarers even worse so now is exactly the right time to publish this guide.'
The MCG is a coalition of 10 major maritime charities, including the Nautilus Welfare Fund, that fosters collaboration across the maritime charity sector.