TBA GroupGeneva DryTelestackBühler GmbHViganPort of South Louisiana
  • Van Aalst
  • Sailors Society
  • Telestack
  • Vigan
  • TMS Awards 2023
  • Bühler GmbH

iCall helping seafarers

(Posted on 16/03/20)

A mental health and wellness helpline service set up to support sea and shore-based maritime personnel worldwide is receiving increasing requests for assistance as the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic crisis mounts.

iCALL for Seafarers is a free, confidential and anonymous psychological helpline for the worldwide maritime community established by leading Singapore-based shipmanager Synergy Group in October 2018 in partnership with India’s renowned Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).

“We had a 40% jump in messages and calls in February and coronavirus is an issue,” said Dr Aparna Joshi, Director of iCALL. “We’ve now added a 15th counsellor to ensure all seafarers and their families receive the help and support they need.”

Now available in ten languages, iCALL for Seafarers is available 24/7 via phone, email and the chat-based nULTA App.

“Management at TISS tell me there has been a recent increase in calls received from maritime personnel and this is entirely understandable,” said Captain Unni, CEO and Founder of Synergy Group.

“We have highlighted the intense pressure on seafarers due to the spread of coronavirus so it is no surprise the spike in calls might be related.

“Current events really just highlight that shipping has for far too long been in denial of the mental pressures on ship crews.

“Seafarers are on the front line of world trade supplying the consumer necessities and commodities we all need during this pandemic. They should have all the support they need.”

Since its inauguration, counsellors located at TISS in Mumbai have fielded daily calls, emails and online chats from maritime personnel and their families. All 15 counsellors that currently support distressed maritime personnel have at least a Master’s degree in Clinical or Counselling Psychology and are trained to help with over 20 wellness issues including mental health, career anxiety, relationships, suicide & self-harm, substance use and work-life concerns.

A first year report into the counselling conducted by iCALL for Seafarers found that the top three mental challenges seafarers and their families raise with counsellors relate to emotional distress, relationship issues and work-life concerns.

Despite seafaring still being male-dominated, 17% of the calls received were made by females.

“It’s heartening to see a vague idea about setting up a completely anonymous psychological helpline for seafarers turn into one of the most important mental health initiatives in shipping,” said Captain Unni.

“The availability of mental health support for seafarers and their families is crucial now more than ever. I’m delighted that with TISS’s support that is what we are able to offer help through iCALL for Seafarers.”

Dr Joshi said the partnership between TISS and Synergy was built on a vision to create a healthy environment on ships where mental health is prioritized and help-seeking is normalized.

“Together we aspire not only to create interventions to address mental health concerns, but also to promote mental well-being,” she said.

Latest News

Liberian Registry establishes innovation and Energy Transition Team ??

(Posted on 28/02/24)

The Liberian Registry, the world’s largest shipping registry, has furthered its commitment to... Read more


Swedish Club widens enhanced PEME programme

(Posted on 28/02/24)

It is well known that a healthy crew is a safe crew, and that the physical and mental wellbeing of seafarers... Read more


Fleet announces strategic leadership transition in its 30th year

(Posted on 22/02/24)

Fleet Management Limited (FLEET), the world’s largest third-party ship management company, has... Read more


OceanScore: Asian shipowners face hefty EU-bound emissions liabilities

(Posted on 22/02/24)

Asian shipowners with vessels sailing to and from Europe are likely to face estimated emissions liabilities... Read more


VIKAND supports V.Ships Greece with mental health training

(Posted on 22/02/24)

VIKAND, the global leader in maritime healthcare, is providing V.Ships Greece with officer training... Read more


RMI Maritime Administrator awards AiP for Anemoi Rotor Sails

(Posted on 14/02/24)

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Maritime Administrator has awarded an Approval in Principle... Read more


Ambrey and ISS join to revolutionise maritime safety and security

(Posted on 14/02/24)

Ambrey and Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) have announce a strategic partnership aimed at transforming... Read more


ShipMoney celebrating 10 years providing digital payment solutions

(Posted on 14/02/24)

Founded in 2013 by Stuart Ostrow, a Florida-based CPA and entrepreneur, ShipMoney set out to challenge... Read more


ClassNK launches shipping and shipbuilding e-learning courses

(Posted on 14/02/24)

ClassNK has introduced E-Learning courses offered through its training and education service, &ldquo... Read more


Top US maritime strategist joins Core Power in Washington

(Posted on 13/02/24)

Robert Bryans, a senior US maritime strategist and systems engineering expert, has joined the growing... Read more


Van AalstPort of StocktonCimbriaSailors SocietyTMS Awards 2023
  • TBA Group
  • Port of South Louisiana
  • Geneva Dry

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest global news in bulk cargo handling and shipping