More than 1,500 people from 75 countries have signed maritime charity Sailors’ Society’s petition calling on wellness training to be made mandatory for seafarers in the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).
The charity, which is based in Southampton, started the petition as part of its Not On My Watch campaign, with the aim of raising awareness about suicide and depression at sea.
Sandra Welch, Sailors’ Society’s deputy CEO, addressed the International Maritime Organization on Tuesday (30 April) about the campaign and the charity’s Wellness at Sea work.
She said, “Not On My Watch has really struck a chord with seafarers around the world and many have shared their experiences of mental health at sea with us.
“The fact that so many people have signed the petition so far in such a short space a of time shows that there is a demand for mandatory wellness training in the MLC.”
Reshma, one of the petition’s signatories, wrote: “I’ve already lost two of my friends to suspected suicides that arose most probably because of depression. I’m not willing to lose anymore friends. Mental health has been in the back seat for too long. Enough is enough.”
For more information about how you can join Sailors’ Society in saying Not On My Watch to suicide and depression at sea, visit: www.sailors-society.org/nomw