Yacht Crew Help was launched in 2018 by the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) following a research project conducted by ISWAN in partnership with MHG Insurance. Over 400 crew working on superyachts were surveyed to investigate welfare issues specific to the sector. We spoke to ISWAN about their goals for Yacht Crew Help, what they aim to achieve, and how to get in touch.
The Primary Goals Of Yacht Crew Help
Whilst ISWAN’s survey revealed many positive experiences of yachting, it also found that:
- 82% of superyacht crew experienced low crew morale sometimes, often or always
- 57% of women and 39% of men suffered from social isolation or loneliness ‘sometimes’, ‘often’, or ‘always’ while working on board
- 55% of female respondents found accessing mental health care to be an occasional or regular challenge.
Prompted by these findings, ISWAN set up a steering group of representatives from across the superyacht industry and collaborated to develop Yacht Crew Help – a free, confidential, multilingual helpline operated by ISWAN for yacht crew. The service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (24/7/365), and exists to provides practical, emotional and wellbeing support (with an additional short-term counselling facility where necessary) to yacht crew of any nationality.
Despite the many benefits of working onboard a superyacht, the challenges of working away from home for long periods and living in close quarters with colleagues can become overwhelming. Yacht Crew Help offers a safe space and a non-judgmental listening ear for crew and their families to share their thoughts and feelings, and provides support, information and/or resources to empower the individual to make the best decisions for themselves to find a resolution.
ISWAN has networks and contacts worldwide who its helpline team can refer cases to with the service user’s consent; for example, if long-term counselling or practical assistance from a union is needed.
“Yacht Crew Help offers a safe space and a non-judgmental listening ear for crew and their families to share their thoughts and feelings, and provides support, information and/or resources to empower the individual to make the best decisions for themselves to find a resolution.”
Resources & Practical Guidance Supplied
A number of self-help resources are available on the Yacht Crew Help website, including ISWAN’s Good Mental Health Guides which provide practical guidance to prepare crew for the everyday challenges they might face while working on board away from their support networks at home. Accompanying these is:
- an audio relaxation exercise which combines muscle relaxation with the controlled breathing technique
- tips on psychological first aid to help crew identify and cope with signs of stress in themselves and others
ISWAN recently launched a new resource: Personal safety precautions for job-seeking yacht crew. This is to guide and support all crew to increase their awareness of the potential risks associated with job-hunting in the yachting industry. It aims to empower crew by providing the guidance and tools necessary to make informed, aware, boundaried and safe decisions about their next role. The resource is for all crew, no matter what gender, nationality or level of experience within the yachting industry.
The Yacht Crew Help website also signposts to resources and support available from other organisations, including specific support for the LGBT+ community or those who have experienced abuse, bullying, harassment, discrimination, or violence, for example.
ISWAN also provides a free mobile app, ISWAN for Seafarers, which offers a direct line to ISWAN’s 24-hour helplines, including Yacht Crew Help, and offline access to resources for crew. The app can be downloaded on Google Play or the App Store.
“The service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year”
Yacht Crew Help is available on a number of different channels – as well as telephone and e-mail. Crew can also contact the helpline using WhatsApp or Live Chat on the Yacht Crew Help website.
Telephone: +44 203 713 7273 (or request a call back at www.yachtcrewhelp.org/callback)
Live Chat: via www.yachtcrewhelp.org
WhatsApp: +44 7514 500153
To keep up to date with the latest Superyacht Content News, click here.
Sign up to our Newsletter below: