The first in a series of ground-breaking global wellness and mental health conferences designed exclusively for maritime school students has been hailed as an overwhelming success.
More than 1,600 cadets from 21 Indian and Sri Lankan maritime colleges registered to take part in the first of four conferences created and run by international maritime welfare charity Sailors’ Society.
The virtual event took place on August 3 and was hosted online by technical partner UK P&I Club, with support from gold sponsor Inmarsat and bronze sponsor Fleet Management Limited.
Sara Baade, Sailors’ Society CEO said: “We’re delighted to have had such a fantastic number join the first of our Wellness at Sea Maritime Schools’ Conferences this year. It has been an overwhelming success with the cadets telling us just how much they have benefitted from this day and that it would better prepare them for their life at sea.”
More than 96 per cent of cadets, polled at the conference, also said that wellbeing training should be mandatory.
Sara continued: “Our events equip cadets with the tools to manage their own wellbeing and knowledge of how to access help should they need it, as well as how to support their crew mates. Seafaring is an amazing career but presents its own set of unique challenges, so it’s vital that crew wellness is cared for right from the start of their careers.”
Chaired by Sailors’ Society’s Head of Wellness, Johan Smith, the conference opened with an inaugural address from Captain Subroto Khan, Campus Director at the Indian Maritime University and featured top maritime industry and wellness experts throughout the day, who spoke on a diverse range of current issues including being a seafarer in a time of war and staying mentally strong at sea
Keynote speaker Mrs H.K. Joshi, ex-Chairwoman of The Shipping Corporation of India Ltd. (SCI), addressed the topic of diversity and women in maritime, commenting: “If women can go to space, they can go to sea”.
Johan Smith said: “A lot of planning and time has gone into making this event the success it was. Huge thanks go to our technical partner UK P&I, gold sponsors Inmarsat and bronze sponsors Fleet Management Ltd. for their support, to all our speakers, the maritime colleges and of course our participants.
“We are now looking forward to connecting with more cadets at our conferences in the Philippines, Africa and Greece later this year.”
Each conference is tailored to the region. They will feature internationally renowned speakers and focus on key and current issues facing cadets today, drawing strongly on material from Sailors’ Society’s pioneering Wellness at Sea programme.
Remaining conference dates:
Africa (21 September)
The Philippines with gold sponsors A.M. Nomikos (22 September)
Greece (20 October)