COVID-19 Seafarers' Mental Health

COVID-19 Seafarers' Mental Health


Providing information where seafarers can reach out directly to seek help with their mental health state of being. BIMCO members are highly recommended to inform their seafarers of this information page.

Caught in the centre of this COVID-19 pandemic are a lot of seafarers facing unprecedented challenges which have left them in a limbo unable to be repatriated home or leave their ships whilst subjecting them to staying onboard longer than required. These challenges have caused considerable strain on the mental and physical wellbeing of some seafarers. To assist seafarers with coping under these extraordinary times, BIMCO is providing on this page, valuable resources where seafarers can reach out for some mental health assistance. 


Seafarer Help is one of the most direct welfare services that BIMCO has found which provides not only services to the seafarers, but also their families as well.

This is a free, confidential, multilingual helpline for seafarers and their families. It is available 24 hours, 365 days.

This service is provided by the International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN), a membership organisation, which works to promote and support the welfare of seafarers all over the world.

  • direct dial +44 20 7323 2737
  • email

Mind Call

Mind Call is another very useful source of immediate help.  "MIND CALL" is a website to support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of a seafarer at sea. There is a dedicated emotional support helpline available to seafarers 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.

This website is brought to you by ISWAN and North P&I club. 

Contact their confidential helpline +44 191 235 3917

For more information on mental health and emotional wellbeing at sea, go to their related website: My Mind Matters

Mission to Seafarers

Mission to Seafarers is another option where any distressed/troubled seafarer of any race, nationality or religion can go online and have a direct chat with a Chaplain. Alternatively, you can email or also access the "chat to a chaplain" on this page.

list of all the ports where they have a centre available to assist seafarers. 

International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA)

ICMA is a free association of Christian not-for-profit organisations working for the welfare of seafarers around the world. Here you can chat with an ICMA member who will connect you to a chaplain in your time zone. 

Sailors Society

Sailors Society  is a Christian charity dedicated to caring for merchant seafarers, where chaplaincy is at the core of their global work. For a seafarer facing a crisis during COVID-19, the following are the helplines  offered by this organisation: 

Emergency Covid-19 helpline: +1 938 222 8181
Covid-19 chat line:
Emergency regional contacts.

Helpline for Indian Seafarers

Updated: Sailors Society launched on 25 August 2020, a dedicated 24-hour helpline to Indian seafarers. The helpline team can offer advice in a variety of languages including Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati, Telugu, Bengali and Malayalam. Anyone in need of assistance can call the helpline on 022-48972266. All calls to the helpline are strictly confidential.

Radio Medico Norway

Radio Medico Norway (RMN) is Norway's official emergency room for ships and sailors offering medical advice to seafarers on board and those treating them. The service is available 24/7 for all ships, anywhere in the world, for all nationalities and regardless of flag. Medical advice from RMN is free of charge. Contact can be made with the on-call doctor at Radio Medico via the Coastal Radio North / Norwegian Coastal Radio North.

 Inmarsat: 32 through Eik earth station 

Telephone: +47 51 68 36 01
For other purposes +47 55 97 50 00



Seafarer Support is a free confidential freephone telephone helpline (0800 121 4675) and online referral service set up by the U.K Merchant Navy Welfare Board. Recently relaunched ( August 2020), it offers AI search facilities to signpost users to the most up-to-date information on the charities best suited to help. It has also  a live chatbot facility to enable users to communicate directly with their welfare team.

Visitors to the site can now choose between searching through the Merchant Navy, Royal Navy and Fishing Fleet categories, offering assistance from financial, support ( bereavement, social, spiritual etc), accommodation, health and medical, advice ( helplines, employment, pensions etc) to general information.

Seahealth & Welfare

Seahealth & Welfare is a Danish organisation focusing on the welfare and working environment of seafarers, providing the necessary competence to ensure that the welfare,safety, health and wellbeing of the seafarers is maintained and protected. 

Seafarers can use Helplines for seafarers serving Danish ships and crisis counselling for Danish ships during this COVID-19 pandemic. 


DSM is a German Seaman's Mission dedicated to help seafarers during this COVID-19 pandemic. They have over 30 stations; in Germany and worldwide, and offers a  "chat-with-a Chaplain" online. including texting. Seafarers can use their own names or write anonymously.  

Apostles of the Sea

The Apostleship of the Sea in Great Britain is part of an international network known to the maritime world as Stella Maris, working in 334 ports with 227 port chaplains in 59 countries

Contact their Chaplains.

Alternatively, use the interactive map  to find their chaplains and contact them. Click on the anchors to display the ports in a particular country, then click on the red pins to display the details of the chaplain in that port. You can also use the list of ports below the map. 

The Danish Seaman's Church

The Danish Seaman's Church offers ‘Samtaler til Søs’ ( means "Conversations at Sea") chat service to speak with a chaplain. This programme is for all Danish seafarers – regardless of religion and religious affiliation. 

ISWAN Seafarer Centre Directory

A seafarer can use this directory easily. By simply entering a port, a seafarer will be able to find the nearest seafarers' centre where assistance can be sought.  All callers' conversations remain confidential and the callers remain anonymous.   


In addition, iSWAN has the following valuable resources in relation to seafarers' mental health : 

Seafarers International Research Centre

ITF Seafarers Support 

The International Transport Worker’s Federation (ITF)  runs SeafarerSupport which is in a Facebook format. 

Nautilus 24/7

Nautilus International, a trade union representing maritime professionals that include ship masters, officers, officer trainees( cadets) and shipping industry personnel. They provide a Nautilus 24/7service to their members. 

NUSI Sahara

The National Union of Seafarers of India runs NUSI Sahara, a psychological helpline to assist seafarers and their families.

CHIRP Maritime

CHIRP Maritime Advisory Board presents the following topical maritime insight articles: 

Mental Health Care Providers


VIKAND is a crew health specialist company, providing medical service solutions worldwide. Inmarsat, the mobile satellite company, worked with crew healthcare specialist VIKAND and software platform provider FrontM to provide a free Covid-19 video call service with a trained health professional. This service is active on more than 200 vessels. Additionally, Inmarsat provides free connectivity to ISWAN’S Seafarerhelp.


Australian mental health provider Hunterlink delivers an international maritime employee assistance model that is providing mental wellness support to international seafarers from around the globe. This is a service for all seafarers in every Australian port around this country. It does not matter from which country you are from or what kind of ship you are sailing with.

Contact details: 
Free Call 24/7:  1800 554 654
Email –
Connect with Hunterlink


Mumbai-based Synergy Group partnered with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to run iCALL, a free psychological helpline. iCALL is available 24/7 and free of charge to maritime personnel worldwide. The service is aimed at improving mental health support for sea and shore-based maritime personnel.

iCall is completely anonymous and confidential counselling service . 

iCall: +91-9677000888 or download their free chat-based counselling app. 

Befrienders Worldwide

An organisation which runs a suicide prevention helpline, is the largest umbrella organisation providing emotional support around the world, with over 350 branches operating in 35 countries.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

This Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential emotional support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

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Ai Cheng Foo-Nielsen
in Copenhagen, DK

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