MHSS Mental Health Support Solutions, which was set up to provide support services exclusively to the maritime sector, offers psychological consultations for seafarers needing support for themselves or their crew all year round but the company finds that the holiday season is always a challenging time for the mariners it is working with.
“It is the time of year when people are more likely to feel undervalued if companies don’t put additional effort into supporting their crew,” explains Jannik Grothues who was recently appointed Managing Director of MHSS. “Other key workers such as nurses, the police or doctors may find themselves working during the festivities but they will generally be able to organise a family celebration close to the actual holiday but for many seafarers the best they can hope for is a short call to their families while they continue working many hundreds of miles away.”
While it may not be possible for mariners to get back home to spend time with their families, it is vital that companies do everything in their power to give them a sense of belonging. “Taking steps such as ensuring that traditional holiday food is available to the crew, giving them the opportunity to socialise with each other, organising joint activities that they would be doing with their families – all of these can help alleviate the feelings of isolation that can come from being away from loved ones,” he concludes.