TMS Awards 2016 winnersPort of BelleduneThe Mississippi Valley Trade & Transport CouncilOvetTelestackTMS Tanker Conference 2018
  • Sailors Society
  • Bühler GmbH
  • MULTIMODAL 2019
  • Vigan Engineering S.A
  • Port of Stockton
  • The Maritime Standards Awards 2018

Synergy launches helpline

(Posted on 11/10/18)

Synergy Group has launched a new counselling service aimed at improving mental health support for sea and shore-based maritime personnel.

iCALL is a free psychological helpline for the worldwide maritime community available 24/7 in nine different languages via phone, email and the chat-based nULTA App.

“Numerous studies into the psychological health of seafarers have shown that large numbers of seafarers suffer from obvious manifestations of impaired psychological wellbeing such as social isolation and depression,” said Capt Rajesh Unni, CEO and Founder of Singapore-headquartered Synergy Group.

“That’s why we decided to create a 24/7 counselling centre for anybody who’s sailing, not just Synergy personnel. It is also available to shore-based personnel anywhere in the world.

“These types of problems can’t be wished away when people get off the ship.”

iCALL, which is confidential and anonymous, is available in English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Sindhi and Kutchi.

“iCALL currently has 14 counsellors all located at Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai to ensure peer support, supervision and standard professional counselling services,” said Capt Unni. “All the counsellors have at least a Master’s degree in Clinical or Counselling Psychology.”

Prior to the launch of the service, all counsellors received three months of specialist training to help treat issues such as emotional distress, relationship and family concerns, suicidal thoughts, sexual and reproductive health, LGBT issues, violence against women, body image concerns and work-life anxieties.

The foundations of iCALL were put in place when Synergy Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai, India, in August committing the parties to establishing the new service.

iCALL was subsequently inaugurated by Dr Malini V. Shankar, India’s Director General of Shipping, when she made the first call to the service last month.

Addressing industry leaders, principals and maritime technology and equipment providers last month at a two-day Synergy seminar in New Delhi, Capt Unni argued that the maritime industry should do far more to address mental health issues.

“5.9% of all deaths at sea are proven suicides,” he said. “If the suspicious cases of probable suicides – seafarers that went missing at sea - are considered, then this figure jumps to 18.3% which means almost one in five deaths at sea is a suicide.

“By any standards, that is terrible. Compare this to deaths ashore, where only 1% of deaths are attributable to suicides. There is no disputing we have a genuine problem here.”

The annual Surabhi Synergy Festival 2018 attracted a raft of industry executives, classification societies and ship management technology providers as well as dozens of Synergy’s shore-based staff and crew.

Key speakers included Synergy principals Captain Katsuya Abe, President of Nissen Kaiun, Martin Ackerman, CEO of BW LPG, Mr Antonis Vrondissis, Vice President of Navios Tanker Management, and MOL General Managers Akura Sasa and Taku Hisai.

Captain MC Madayya, regional manager of Marine Assurance (MA), the organisation within Chevron Shipping Co. LLC responsible for managing marine risk, explained the lengthy vetting processed undertaken by MA before vessels were chartered by Chevron.

Another highlight was the presentation by Mike Holliday, Marine & Offshore Manager for South Asia at Lloyd’s Register, who addressed how digitalisation is transforming shipping.

“On behalf of Synergy Group, I wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to all our distinguished guests for making this year’s Surabhi a truly memorable event,” said Capt Unni.

“Despite your hectic calendar, to take time away to interrelate with your seafarers and shore staff is evidence of your commitment and care. We are deeply humbled and thrilled to have you on our team.”

Latest News

A big step forward

(Posted on 16/03/19)

Leading classification society DNV GL has announced that all DNV GL classed vessels are now able to... Read more


ClassNK appoints new Senior Executive VP

(Posted on 16/03/19)

Mr. Hiroaki Sakashita has been appointed as Senior Executive Vice President as well as Executive Director... Read more


Aco Marine calls for enforcement

(Posted on 16/03/19)

ACO Marine, together with a group of leading wastewater treatment system manufacturers and environmental... Read more


Online course collaboration

(Posted on 16/03/19)

A successful collaboration between KVH Videotel, a world leader in the provision of e-learning for the... Read more


Flowsafe BWMS to save costs for bulkers

(Posted on 11/03/19)

A new Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) developed by Flow Water Technologies Ltd, called FlowSafe... Read more


MacGregor to support Anglo Eastern Univan

(Posted on 11/03/19)

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has signed an agreement with Ocean Sourcing Pte Ltd to support MacGregor... Read more


KVH Surpasses 9,000 VSAT Systems

(Posted on 11/03/19)

KVH Industries, Inc., a leader in mobile connectivity, announced that it recently shipped its 9,000th... Read more


Inmarsat brings Crew Xpress to market

(Posted on 11/03/19)

Inmarsat, the global leader in mobile satellite communications, is staying ahead of fast-changing dynamics... Read more


WFS increases bunker capacity in Gibraltar

(Posted on 11/03/19)

World Fuel Services (WFS), via its fully owned subsidiary Gib Oil Limited, has extended its capacity... Read more


CSA 2020 launches scrubber counter offensive

(Posted on 26/02/19)

The Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 has expressed strong concerns about a proposal submitted by the European... Read more


Sailors SocietyCleveland Cascades LtdCimbria Bulk Equipment A/SVigan Engineering S.AThe Maritime Standards Awards 2018Bühler GmbH
  • TMS Tanker Conference 2018
  • Port of Belledune
  • Cleveland Cascades Ltd
  • Ovet
  • Cimbria Bulk Equipment A/S

Subscribe to our newsletter

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