The recent tragic news of the fatal pirate attack on the Liberian-flagged box ship the MV Mozart, which left one seafarer dead and 15 others kidnapped, (see Freight News report published yesterday), has brought into sharp focus the need for urgent psychological first aid and professional mental health assistance in situations like this where support for the remaining crew onboard is vital.
With this in mind, Mental Health Support Solutions (MHSS), which specialises in seafarer mental health support and guidance, is creating a Psychological First Aid (PFA) course designed to educate crew on how to deliver psychological first aid in a traumatic situation before professional support can get involved.
It’s scheduled to be launched in February and its aim is to provide band aid until clinical psychologists can provide professional support to them.
The company provides therapy and also offers a free mental health hotline number which offers round-the-clock confidential and psychological support onboard and ashore.
Charles Watkins, clinical psychologist and managing director at MHSS, said such an attack could cause serious mental and emotional wounds among the crew.
“They may feel a range of cognitions and emotions like anxiety and/or survivors’ guilt."
Christian Ayerst, CEO of MHSS, said: “This incident is a stark reminder to the industry that seafarers need professional psychological support more than ever."