Mintra has joined forces with welfare organisation The Mission to Seafarers to deliver vital support to seafarers around the world who are struggling with their mental health. The charity’s successful WeCare wellbeing courses are now available exclusively to individual seafarers on mintra.com, allowing the training resources to be accessed online by those who need them most.
Mintra is hosting the eLearning on its mintra.com eCommerce website completely free of charge, allowing proceeds from the sale of every course to go directly towards funding The Mission to Seafarers’ work in supporting seafarers in 200 ports across 50 different countries.
Since the launch of WeCare in 2019, several employers in the maritime industry have purchased the packages for their sea-going staff under corporate licenses. The partnership with Mintra allows the charity to now help individuals and small companies that were previously unable to access the courses under a corporate model.
The WeCare programme was developed by The Mission to Seafarers to address the growing number of seafarers experiencing poor mental health and wellbeing. The charity identified two main contributing factors – financial pressures and a breakdown in communication with loved ones at home.
WeCare, which evolved from classroom training into an eLearning package following the Covid-19 pandemic, provides courses that are relevant to both seafarers and their families. Financial Wellbeing explores the link between money, relationships and mental health and promotes financial coping strategies such as budgeting, saving and risk assessments.
The Social Wellbeing course looks at how social media and texting – the most common forms of communication with family members onshore - can impact on long-distance relationships. It provides guidance on how to promote healthy relationships through positive communication.
Both courses feature a Chat to a Chaplain function, which allows seafarers who may be in emotional distress and in need of help to access a member of The Mission to Seafarers’ chaplaincy team, which is on call 24/7 to respond to welfare issues.
Kevin Short, Mintra CEO
Kevin Short, CEO of Mintra, said the company was proud to become a partner of The Mission to Seafarers, and to support the vital work of a charity operating in one of Mintra’s main customer markets.
He added: “Our eCommerce website was launched at the start of 2021 and is specifically designed for individuals and small groups of learners, such as yacht crews. Our technology on mintra.com ensures The Mission to Seafarers can provide equal access to these high-quality resources, not just to those who are employed by large corporates.
“Seafarers can now access WeCare courses from any device with an internet connection – a phone, laptop or a computer in a port welfare centre – and instantly get the support they need. There are no delays or complex sign-up process: they just purchase the course and immediately start learning.
“Mintra truly understands the emotional challenges of working in this profession and that the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly the crew change crisis which has left so many seafarers in limbo, has only exacerbated those pressures. Our support of The Mission to Seafarers is a small way of saying thank you to those who every day risk their lives so the global economy can prosper.”
Rev Canon Andrew Wright, Secretary General of The Mission to Seafarer
The Rev Canon Andrew Wright, Secretary General of The Mission to Seafarers, said the partnership with Mintra came at a critical time, with more and more seafarers experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation after being separated from family and friends over the festive period.
“We are incredibly excited to be partnering with Mintra, as making the WeCare courses available on mintra.com allows us to reach the individual seafarers and smaller groups of employees that have not been able to access WeCare before. This allows us to be inclusive and ensures that we are providing courses to those who are in most need,” he said.
“We know that these courses are incredibly useful and appreciated by seafarers around the world. We asked a sample of those who have already completed WeCare courses whether it met their expectations - 95% agreed that it did, and they would recommend it to others.
“We are grateful to Mintra for its support and for hosting WeCare free of charge on mintra.com, as this ensures every penny from sales goes back into supporting the activities of our chaplains who work tirelessly to address a wide range of seafarers’ welfare needs.”
While there is a charge for accessing WeCare courses, port chaplains are also able to provide access to those experiencing difficulties and severe financial hardship. It is planned that computers in the charity’s port centres will display the website to increase awareness of the training resources on offer.
Today, only little more than 1 per cent of the global seafaring workforce is female. Whilst this is an impressive 45 per cent