International seafarer welfare charity, The Mission to Seafarers has announced the launch of its new e-learning modules as an extension to its WeCare programme. In response to the added pressures on seafarers during COVID-19, the two face-to-face programmes are being moved online to provide greater accessibility.
WeCare was launched by The Mission to Seafarers in January 2019. The goal of this ambitious new initiative was to address an issue at the very heart of seafarers’ mental health and wellbeing: relationships and emotions.
Both courses are designed to help seafarers cope with concerns from home, which might lead to potential safety issues at sea. Produced by qualified professionals specifically for seafarers, the Mission believes this course is like no other.
In response to the 2020 pandemic, which has impacted seafarers in many ways, including onboard quarantines and severely restricted crew changes, The Mission recognised the programme needed to adapt.
The health of seafarers at sea and at home has been impacted like never before and due to restrictions for face-to-face interactions, ship visits or group workshops, WeCare transitioned to e-learning.
Thanks to the support of Platinum Sponsors – the UK P&I Club, the TK Foundation, and Bronze sponsor Prime Training, the WeCare e-learning programme will be available to seafarers from March 2021.
Both flagship courses, Social Wellbeing and Financial Wellbeing, will blend multimedia content with reflective learning exercises to engage seafarers. Each course is one hour and is complemented by wellbeing videos, weblinks and downloads to use onboard.
The Revd Canon Andrew Wright, Secretary General, The Mission to Seafarers, commented: “I am delighted to announce the launch of The Mission to Seafarers’ new WeCare e-learning modules.
“This new initiative is a solution to some of the main challenges seafarers are experiencing today. In creating these modules, we have run multiple focus groups, and spent many hours interviewing and learning from seafarers themselves, so we know that these courses reflect issues which matter to them.
“By providing educational courses in social and financial wellbeing, WeCare has already reached more than 6,000 seafarers and their families. We are deeply grateful for the support the UK P&I Club, the TK Foundation, which has made this project possible and look forward to seeing the ongoing benefits of our new digital offering.”
Thomas O’Hare, Project Manager, The Mission to Seafarers, added: “WeCare is all about giving seafarers and their families a space to talk about their feelings and emotions, and to discuss how they can best support one another when they’re apart.
“E-learning allows us to reach seafarers directly while they are on board and we’re able to address issues such as homesickness and financial concerns by providing positive lessons that build confidence in the face of adversity.
“WeCare is more than just a programme or online course. It’s a continuous cycle of providing mental health and wellbeing resources to seafarers throughout their time at sea. We look forward to continuing the development of our WeCare programme and launching other channels in which seafarers can benefit.”
The WeCare e-learning programme is available as a stand-alone product or through the Ocean Technologies Group platform.