MHSS is an organisation comprising qualified clinical psychologists who specialise in supporting seafarers and the maritime industry worldwide.
As part of our collaboration, MHSS and Quay Crew will also deliver a programme of free educational webinars and content that supports management companies, Captains and Heads of Departments (HODs) in helping crew to improve their mental health onboard.
Online events already being scheduled will focus on common causes of stress, anxiety and depression, including how to deal with or avoid burnout, conflict resolution, bullying and harassment and substance abuse.
We’ve also launched an industry-specific mental health survey to gather data that aims to highlight the most critical concerns of crew.
Our Director, Tim Clarke, commented: “Anecdotal evidence from conversations with Captains, HODs and hundreds of superyacht crew has highlighted just how many people onboard suffer with poor mental health. So, we are delighted to be able to give our placed crew access to this service, delivered by qualified psychologists.
“However, our commitment is just a drop in the ocean and as a sector, we are lagging way behind on the support we provide our crew. We must do more to ensure they have access to the help they need.
“We will work with MHSS to uncover critical mental health data from the industry and encourage yacht owners, management companies and Captains to see the benefits of making support services available to all crew.”
Christian Ayerst, CEO of MHSS, added: “Poor mental health is not just debilitating and often traumatising to the individual, but it can affect everyone onboard, from overall morale to productivity. The past 18 months have only highlighted to us how significant issues at sea can be, largely due to long hours and isolation from family and friends, so it’s fantastic to be supported by a company with such a strong foothold in the superyacht sector.
“Quay Crew is a forward-thinking, reputable and ethical business that does more than just saying it cares about crew members’ wellbeing. We’re excited to work on a raft of projects that will raise awareness and enhance mental health support services to crew worldwide.”
Global mental health statistics
During the Covid pandemic, the feeling of isolation among commercial crew increased significantly due to crew change issues and depression caused by an inability to join a vessel. Yet the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that critical mental health services in 93% of countries were halted or disrupted.
Whilst industry specific data is limited in the superyacht sector, research by YouGov revealed that overseas employees are more likely to face mental health challenges6. The data suggests this is due to being away from family and friends, working in different time zones which makes it difficult to keep in touch, and the struggles of fitting in with new cultures – usually multicultural onboard.
The crew mental health survey has now been launched and findings are due to be published later this year.