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The IMarEST announces 1st Global Conference for Seafarer Mental Health and Wellbeing

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The IMarEST announces 1st Global Conference for Seafarer Mental Health and Wellbeing 

April 2021

The 1st Global Conference for Seafarer Mental Health and Wellbeing has been announced for 25 – 26 May 2021. The IMarEST event will bring together key stakeholders from across the maritime sector to discuss the critical issue and identify practical solutions to better support the needs of seafarers around the world. 

The focus for the virtual conference, which will take place using the IMarEST’s online event platform, will be on intervention and defining industry best practice, as well as increasing monitoring and agreeing key areas of improvement. 

In a 2020 industry-wide survey on seafarer wellbeing, conducted by Lloyd’s Register, 54%of seafarers felt they were not being actively helped to manage levels of stress and fatigue. The research also highlighted the significant crew-change crisis impacting both seafarers and their families during a tumultuous year for the maritime industry. However, seafarer mental health and wellbeing was already an area of concern before the pandemic, with issues such as isolation, fatigue and stress commonly reported. 

In 2019 the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health found that “significantly more seafarers report being happy or very happy at home than report being happy or very happy on board”. In the same study, 55% of employer respondents stated that their companies had not introduced any policies or practices to address seafarers’ mental health in the last ten years. In contrast, the latest The Mission to Seafarers’ Happiness Index highlighted the positive impact that small-scale solutions and investments with regard to connectivity, food and social activities have made to life on board. 

Co-Chair of the event, Captain Panos Stavrakakis MBA MSc PhD CEng FIMarEST, comments: “The two-day conference programme will look at practical approaches and highlight solutions that can be implemented to tackle ongoing issues. It’s an incredibly important area and one that has not been properly addressed by the industry, until now. Together we need to raise awareness, overcome stigma and understand the effects of working at sea.” 

Attendees can register for the event via the IMarEST’s website here

About the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST)

The IMarEST is an international learned society and the only membership body to bring marine engineers, marine scientists and marine technologists together into one multi-disciplinary professional body. The largest marine organisation of its kind, it spans 128 countries and works to promote the scientific development of marine engineering, science and technology, providing opportunities for the exchange of ideas and practices and upholding the status, standards and expertise of marine professionals worldwide. Members are able to gain professional registration through the Institute (such as Technician, Incorporated, Registered or Chartered status). 

The IMarEST is an NGO with consultative status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and observer status at the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, International Hydrographic Organization, the London Convention/London Protocol (LC/LP) and the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP).

It has special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), which facilitates its access to other international intergovernmental meetings where its specialized marine expertise is of particular use, e.g., the United Nations meetings on Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 

Conference Committee·       

Co-Chair: Capt Panos Stavrakakis MBA, MSc, PhD, CEng, FIMarEST, Champion of IMarEST Mental Health & Wellbeing Initiative and Head of Centre of Organizational Health & Wellbeing, Health & Safety Executive·       

Co-Chair: Stephanie McLay MSc MBPsS, Senior Human Factors Consultant, Lloyd’s Register·       

Chrissie Clarke, Programme Manager Diversity and Skills, Maritime UK·       

Hazel Lewis, Seafarer Safety and Human Element Policy Manager, Maritime & Coastguard Agency·       

Pav Hart-Premkumar, Human Element Policy Specialist, Maritime & Coastguard Agency·       

Richard Graham CEng CMarEng FIMarEST, Chair of IMarEST Professional Affairs & Education Committee 

For more information on the conference, or to speak to one of the conference committee members, please call Chloe Buchanan, PR Lead at The MTM Agency on +44 (0)7818 815735 or email: chloe@themtmagency.com

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