Crew members struggling with their sexual identity are talking more openly about the issue and the challenges they face within the maritime industry, a psychologist has revealed.
Charles Watkins, a clinical psychologist and managing director of Mental Health Support Solutions (MHSS), said that his organisation – which provides 24/7 mental health support and guidance throughout the shipping sector – was receiving more calls from people willing to discuss their sexuality.
“We’ve been able to help seafarers with discrimination, sexism, harassment and humiliation.”
He said it took great courage for an LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual plus) person to share their sexuality with colleagues, especially when worried about any potential hostility or ridicule. His comments come during Pride Month, which takes place every June to celebrate the global LGBT+ community.