Reaching out to help

Bringing balance and perspective

Life can be very tough on a vessel. Seafarers must spend many months away from friends and loved ones, so feelings of loneliness and isolation can soon start to creep in. Concerns and worries that might be easily talked through and addressed at home can take on an all-consuming significance when at sea. So it is hardly surprising that psychological issues are very common amongst those who live and work at sea. Their maritime lifestyle dictates that they must face serious issues and concerns that those who live on land rarely have to consider:

  • How will my family manage without me for months on end?
  • Will my children have the right upbringing when I’m not there?
  • Should I quit my job, even if it brings financial difficulties for my family?
  • I’m being bullied on board and I’ve no one to turn to
  • My crew mates are from different countries and I can’t communicate with them

Our chaplains are not trained welfare counsellors, nor are they expected to act as such, but often it is amazing what can be achieved simply by lending a listening ear and bringing a balanced, Christ focused perspective to a problem or issue that has been plaguing a lonely crew member. Indeed if necessary, an issue can even be reported on to the Port Authorities or other welfare organisations.