Monday, July 24, 2017

Improved Free App for Seafarers to Help Combat Mental Health and Physical Illness Goes Online

New Statistics Reveal that Cardiovascular and Depression Major Causes of Medical Failures for Sailors
Shipping News Feature
WORLDWIDE – The latest version of the Sailors' Society's Wellness at Sea app for seafarers hopes to further combat high rates of cardiovascular conditions and mental health disorders among seafarers. The enhancements to the free app, sponsored by Bernhard Schulte Ship Management (BSM), now gives users a range of healthy living tips, recipes and exercises to help monitor and maintain their physical and mental health at home, in port and at sea. Sandra Welch, deputy CEO and director of programme at the Sailors's Society said:

“The long contracts away from loved ones and the stresses of everyday life at sea may negatively impact on seafarers’ mental and physical health. Fatigue and poor mental health are common complaints. We’re also aware that fitness levels can dip in the time between contacts.

“The wellbeing of the world’s seafarers is paramount to us and we hope that the newest additions to the app will enable users to further monitor their fitness and in turn help to minimise poor health or incidents at sea.”

The new elements of the app have come at the perfect time as annual statistics from the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) detail cardiovascular conditions, obesity, diabetes and depression among the top 10 most common reasons for seafarers failing their medicals. A recent UK P&I Club study also revealed that those choosing a career at sea are the second most at risk of suicide with 15% of deaths occurring whilst on the water caused as result.

Diet can be a key component for a happy and healthy crew and recipes, provided by Seachef, BSM’s hospitality services business, aim to cater for the variety of nationalities that tend to make up the modern crew and offer a range of healthy meat and vegetable dishes. Additionally the exercise section, supplied by WorkoutLabs, includes short workouts and longer exercises that could be done during breaks or on shore leave.

Both Android and iPhone compatible, the Wellness at Sea app offers interactive challenges on five key elements of wellbeing - social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual - and users receive daily feedback enabling them to monitor their progress. It also holds port directories and contact details for services offered by maritime welfare organisations including Apostleship of the Sea, the German Seamen’s Mission, the ITF, Mission to Seafarers, NAMMA and the Sailors’ Society, and enables users to track their journey using AIS data provided by MarineTraffic.

The new app can be downloaded from HERE.