BSM sponsors free app for seafarers to help combat mental health and physical illness
The latest version of Sailors’ Society’s Wellness at Sea app for seafarers hopes to further combat high rates of cardiovascular conditions and mental health disorders among seafarers.
The enhancements to the free app, sponsored by Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, now gives users a range of healthy living tips, recipes and exercises to help monitor and maintain their physical and mental health at home, in port and at sea.
Sandra Welch, deputy CEO and director of programme, Sailors’ Society said, “The long contracts away from loved ones and the stresses of everyday life at sea may negatively impact on seafarers’ mental and physical health. Fatigue and poor mental health are common complaints. We’re also aware that fitness levels can dip in the time between contacts.
“The wellbeing of the world’s seafarers is paramount to us and we hope that the newest additions to the app will enable users to further monitor their fitness and in turn help to minimise poor health or incidents at sea.”
The new elements of the app could not come soon enough, with annual statistics from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency detailing cardiovascular conditions, obesity, diabetes and depression among the top 10 most common reasons for seafarers failing their medicals.
Giles Heimann, Corporate Director of Fleet Personnel, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement commented “As a responsible employer managing a fleet of 600 ships and with over 18,000 seafarers in our global pool, we feel it important to support the work of the Sailors’ Society in ensuring seafarers have a tool at their fingertips to help manage the physical and mental stresses that they face in their daily lives.”
“Our people are at the core of everything we do, which is why BSM adds high value to crew welfare. Our support for the Wellness at Sea app reflects our appreciation for the professional work that seafarers carry out and our commitment to helping them maintain healthy lifestyles both on board and ashore.”
A recent UK P&I Club study also revealed that a career seafaring is the second most at risk of suicide with 15 per cent of deaths at sea caused as result.
Recipes, provided by Seachef, BSM’s hospitality services business, aim to cater for the variety of nationalities that tend to make up the modern crew and offer a range of healthy meat and vegetable dishes. The exercise section, supplied by WorkoutLabs, includes short workouts and longer exercises that could be done during breaks or on shore leave.
Both Android and iPhone compatible, the Wellness at Sea app offers interactive challenges on five key elements of wellbeing - social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual - and users receive daily feedback enabling them to monitor their progress. It also holds port directories and contact details for services offered by maritime welfare organisations including Apostleship of the Sea, German Seamen’s Mission, ITF, Mission to Seafarers, NAMMA and Sailors’ Society, and enables users to track their journey using AIS data provided by MarineTraffic.
The app forms part of Sailors’ Society’s wider Wellness at Sea programme which includes a coaching course and a confidential survey exploring the root causes of illness and injury among seafarers (www.sailors-society.org/survey). For more information visit: www.sailors-society.org/wellness