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Not-for-profit company established for maritime mental health

Not-for-profit company established for maritime mental health
Sam Chambers January 24, 2024

To meet the growing awareness of the importance of protecting mental health in the maritime industry, consultant clinical psychologist Dr Pennie Blackburn has launched Waypoint Maritime, a community interest company with profits reinvested to further its social objectives. According to Blackburn, Waypoint Maritime is the first and only not-for-profit company established for maritime mental health.

“It’s fantastic that awareness of the mental health and the unique challenges of life at sea has accelerated over recent years, but it is crucial that approaches to protection, promotion and response are rooted in the best practice,” said Blackburn, who moved into the maritime sphere seven years ago after 25 years spent working in the public sector, charities, and international NGOs. Blackburn’s father was a master mariner.

Waypoint Maritime will support companies with compliance for seafarer wellbeing with technical advice on drafting company mental health policy, implementing best practice to promote wellbeing, undertake hands-on project work including stress risk assessments to prevent mental ill health, training and guidelines for effective crew support following critical incidents onboard and new approaches to seafarer assistance programmes to ensure accessible and timely response.

Evidence building will be a key tranche of Waypoint Maritime’s work through which new mental health programmes – including ones aimed at suicide prevention – will be developed, piloted and evaluated.