The first in a series of groundbreaking global wellness and mental health conferences designed exclusively for maritime school students has been hailed as a resounding success.
More than 1,600 cadets from 21 Indian and Sri Lankan maritime colleges have registered to attend the first of four conferences created and run by the international maritime charity Sailors’ Society.
The virtual event took place on August 3 and was hosted online by UK technical partner P&I Club, with support from gold sponsor Inmarsat and bronze sponsor Fleet Management Limited.
Sara Baade, CEO of the Sailors’ Society, said: “We are delighted that such a fantastic number have joined the first of our Wellness at Sea Maritime Schools conferences this year. It was a resounding success, with cadets telling us how much they enjoyed the day and how it would better prepare them for life at sea.”
More than 96% of cadets, surveyed at the conference, also said wellness training should be mandatory.
Sara continued, “Our events give cadets the tools to manage their own well-being and know how to access help when needed, as well as how to support their teammates. Sailing is an amazing career, but comes with its own set of unique challenges, so it’s essential that the well-being of the crew is considered from the start of their career.
Chaired by Sailors’ Society’s Head of Wellness, Johan Smith, the conference opened with a keynote address by Captain Subroto Khan, Campus Director of Indian Maritime University and featured top experts from the maritime industry and well -being throughout the day, who spoke about a wide range of current issues, including being a sailor in wartime and staying mentally strong at sea
The keynote speaker, Mrs. HK Joshi, former President of The Shipping Corporation of India Ltd. (SCI), addressed the topic of diversity and women in the maritime sector, commenting: “If women can go to space, they can go to sea”.
Johan Smith said: “A lot of planning and time has gone into making this event the success it has been. Many thanks to our technical partner UK P&I, gold sponsors Inmarsat and bronze sponsors Fleet Management Ltd. for their support, to all our speakers, to the maritime colleges and of course to our participants.
“We now look forward to meeting more cadets at our conferences in the Philippines, Africa and Greece later this year.”
Each conference is adapted to the region. They will feature internationally acclaimed guest speakers and focus on key and current issues facing cadets today, drawing heavily on material from the Sailors’ Society’s pioneering Welfare at Sea program.
Remaining conference dates:
Africa (September 21)
The Philippines with gold sponsors AM Nomikos (September 22)
Greece (October 20)
Source: Seamen’s Society