A trauma-informed industry
Half of the seafarers who participated in our recent survey have been involved in a stressful, shocking, or frightening situation onboard. Most of them did not get any mental health support after the event. The maritime industry is a high-risk environment for critical incidents that can be traumatic, therefore we need to take actions to better manage trauma and give seafarers and shoreside organisations the tools that they need to properly process incidents. Business continuity and safety repercussions are highlighted by the 81 % of seafarers who said that the experience of a traumatic incident had affected their job performance. To not have post incident trauma procedures in place means that the risk of human distress, incidents, and unnecessary costs are all high.
The trauma-informed project
One year ago, Alandia’s loss prevention team, together with Seaways Psychology Services started a journey towards helping our industry become more trauma informed. In autumn 2021 we launched a survey to explore how crew have experienced critical incidents at sea. The results were in line with our expectations of seafaring being an occupation that involves a high risk of experiencing critical incidents which negatively affect mental health.
The results of the survey compelled us to arrange an online workshop and later a short follow up webinar where we invited several expert speakers to discuss trauma in shipping. Our aim was to spread trauma awareness and increase the knowledge base of the participating stakeholders.
If you would like to read about the results of the survey and/or learn about topics surrounding trauma in shipping from the recordings, you can go to our Trauma in Shipping project page here>
We believe that our work is far from finished and there is still a lot more that needs to change when it comes to trauma processes within the maritime industry. We have therefore decided to continue the project, and we welcome you to be a part of it!
The Helsinki trauma workshop
Alandia, together with Seaways Psychology Services, has arranged a workshop which will be held in Helsinki on the 27th of September 2022. During the workshop we will have interactive lectures, and together with industry stakeholders we will explore what post-trauma procedures exist and what goals we need to set to reach a good level of being trauma informed. You are welcome to register for the workshop: Here you will find more information and the registration page>
The take-aways from the workshop will be:
- An understanding of what trauma is and its relevance and impact in maritime workplaces.
- Knowledge of the human stress response and its various effects.
- Tools for managing your own stress responses.
- Guidance on the principles of best practice after a critical incident.
- Information on helpful ways of supporting others in the aftermath of a traumatic incident and what to avoid.
- An awareness of the relationship between the human stress response, PTSD, and mental health difficulties.
- A practical toolkit to help you plan for greater awareness and recognition of trauma and more effective responses within your workplaces.
There are many best practices to enhance and manage trauma in shipping, but for a short and practical guide you can download our Trauma at Sea Brochure>
Other more detailed guidelines can be found in Professor Neil Greenberg’s Managing Traumatic Stress: Guidance for maritime organisations and ISWAN’s Mentally Healthy Ships .