ISWAN begins campaign to highlight how social interactions are key to crew wellbeing

Today (29th June) marks the launch of a two-week digital campaign by the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) to highlight the importance of connecting with others for crew wellbeing.

ISWAN note that COVID-19 coupled with the challenges and sacrifices seafarers contend with while at work have put their wellbeing at particular risk. Given the uncertainty regarding their employment and when they will see their loved ones again, the network has highlighted the importance of seafarers receiving the necessary support to strengthen the relationships with those around them – particularly if they have no option other than to remain on board.

ISWAN’s two-week digital campaign, supported by the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Transport Workers’ Federation, is themed around connecting crew. The campaign aims to emphasise the importance of connecting with others for their wellbeing, particularly during the current COVID-19 pandemic where shore leave is not possible and crew changes are delayed by months.

The first week of the campaign is aimed at shipping companies, helping them to identify barriers to socialising on their ships and providing ideas to facilitate stronger relationships and connections on board. The second week will spark ideas for crew members on how to strengthen relationships with those both on board and at home. The campaign can be followed on ISWAN’s social media platforms using the hashtag #ConnectingCrew, and all resources will be uploaded to the ISWAN website.

The campaign coincides with ISWAN’s ongoing Social Interaction Matters (SIM) Project, which aims to help shipping and ship management companies improve seafarers’ social interaction on board using programmes with proven success, in order to positively impact the wellbeing of their crews.

ISWAN recently conducted a survey to investigate the barriers and drivers of social interaction on board, and will be hosting a webinar on Thursday 9th July 2020 to discuss some of the preliminary findings ahead of a full research report.

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