Seafarers’ mental health and connectivity top priority in Iran
15 May 2020
Support for stranded seafarers, counselling and Wi-Fi access for seafarers in Iran to be bolstered with the help of the Seafarers’ Trust COVID-19 Emergency fund.
The Iranian Merchant Mariners’ Syndicate, IMMS, is the latest union to be awarded a one-off grant to support seafarers in need during the pandemic.
The IMMS emergency COVID-19 committee, established on 10 March, has several initiatives already underway including an awareness-raising campaign “We defeat Coronavirus” to keep seafarers and their families safe, a volunteer system to render medical care and distribute PPE and a counselling helpline. Non-domiciled or foreign seafarers have also received support thanks to the union’s joint work with maritime and industry partners and unions in Italy and Spain.
“We’re collaborating with all stakeholders to support Iranian and foreign seafarers in their time of need. Whether it’s through offering 24/7 counselling service or working with the Indian Embassy in Tehran to help stranded seafarers get back home, we are doing our utmost to look after the seafaring community” said Capt. M.Berenji, head of the IMMS Covid19 committee.
“When the whole world is threatened by a global pandemic it’s so important for administrations, companies and unions to work together across borders to alleviate the additional stresses placed on frontline key workers – such as seafarers – who, after all, are maintaining the global economy whilst many of us are in lockdown. We are delighted to support this union initiative to help seafarers combat isolation and provide 24/7 counselling support” added Katie Higginbottom, head of ITF Seafarers’ Trust.