Professional yacht crew anywhere in the world will be able to access 24-hour support via Yacht Crew Help, a new helpline launched by the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN).
Despite the many benefits of working onboard a superyacht, the challenges of working away from home for long periods and living in close quarters with colleagues can become overwhelming. In a 2018 survey of superyacht crew, ISWAN found that 82% of superyacht crew experienced low crew morale sometimes, often, or always, and 55% of female respondents found accessing mental health care to be an occasional or regular challenge.
Prompted by these findings, ISWAN set up a steering group of representatives from across the superyacht industry and collaborated to develop Yacht Crew Help – a free, confidential, multilingual helpline for professional yacht crew. Whatever problem someone is facing, wherever they are in the world, Yacht Crew Help will be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to provide guidance and support. The helpline is run by ISWAN, a charity that promotes the welfare of seafarers working in all sectors of the maritime industry. The helpline officers are trained in counseling skills, suicide risk assessment, and providing emotional support to crew all over the world, and the team is connected with a wide range of organizations to help yacht crew find further support.
ISWAN’s Executive Director Roger Harris said: ‘Although the superyacht industry can be glamorous, the demands on crew are very high and living in your workplace away from loved ones can be tough. With Yacht Crew Help, we want to make sure that men and women working on superyachts can easily access the support available to them worldwide whenever they need it – free of charge, day or night. We are incredibly grateful to all of our partners for helping us develop a service tailored to professional yacht crew and their specific needs.’
Captain Brendan O’Shannassy, President of the ISS Captain’s Committee and one of the key members of the Yacht Crew Help steering group, said: ‘The most valuable component of the superyacht industry are the crews. Yacht Crew Help will be key to educating and supporting yacht crew as they strive to deliver the excellence demanded by the industry. ISWAN are a highly credible non-commercial entity to provide this support without crew having any concern of commercial compromise when raising personal concerns.’
Crew members, whether they are currently on board or ashore, can currently contact Yacht Crew Help via three different contact methods:
Telephone: +44 (0)20 3713 7273 (a call back can be requested via the Yacht Crew Help website)
Live Chat: via www.yachtcrewhelp.org