The PYA Supports the Launch of Yacht Crew Help

The PYA has noticed an increase of mental health issues amongst yacht crew over the last few years and has been campaigning to raise awareness and actively support industry organisations providing assistance to crew. 

We have particularly been working closely with the International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) who has - up until this point - provided a 24/7 helpline to all seafarers worldwide.

The PYA, along with ISWAN and a number of other supporting organisations, has recognised the need for a specialised helpline tailored to supporting yacht crew with the unique challenges they face.

We are proud to announce that we have actively contributed to the development of the new 'Yacht Crew Help' helpline, providing guidance and consultation to ISWAN and will continue to do so in the future by active contribution to the services offered.

Professional yacht crew anywhere in the world will now be able to access 24-hour support via Yacht Crew Help.

Why is there a need for a specialised helpline?

[Press release from ISWAN 24/11/2020]

Despite the many benefits of working on board a superyacht, the challenges of working away from home for long periods and living in close quarters with colleagues can become overwhelming. In a 2018 survey of superyacht crew, ISWAN found that 82% of superyacht crew experienced low crew morale sometimes, often or always, and 55% of female respondents found accessing mental health care to be an occasional or regular challenge.

Prompted by these findings, ISWAN set up a steering group of representatives from across the superyacht industry, including the PYA, who collaborated to develop Yacht Crew Help, - a free, confidential, multilingual helpline for professional yacht crew. Whatever problem someone is facing, wherever they are in the world, Yacht Crew Help will be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to provide guidance and support. The helpline is run by ISWAN, a charity which promotes the welfare of seafarers working in all sectors of the maritime industry. The helpline officers are trained in counselling skills, suicide risk assessment and providing emotional support to crew all over the world, and the team is connected with a wide range of organisations to help yacht crew find further support.

ISWAN’s Executive Director Roger Harris said: ‘Although the superyacht industry can be glamorous, the demands on crew are very high and living in your workplace away from loved ones can be tough. With Yacht Crew Help, we want to make sure that men and women working on superyachts can easily access the support available to them worldwide whenever they need it – free of charge, day or night. We are incredibly grateful to all of our partners for helping us develop a service tailored to professional yacht crew and their specific needs.’

Captain Brendan O’Shannassy, President of the ISS Captain’s Committee and one of the key members of the Yacht Crew Help steering group, said: ‘The most valuable component of the superyacht industry are the crews. Yacht Crew Help will be key to educating and supporting yacht crew as they strive to deliver the excellence demanded by the industry. ISWAN are a highly credible non-commercial entity to provide this support without crew having any concern of commercial compromise when raising personal concerns.’

How to get help

Crew members, whether they are currently on board or ashore, can currently contact Yacht Crew Help via three different contact methods: Telephone: +44 (0)20 3713 7273 (a call back can be requested via the Yacht Crew Help website)

E-mail: help@yachtcrewhelp.org

Live Chat: via www.yachtcrewhelp.org 

A range of information, guidance and resources on issues affecting yacht crew is available on the Yacht Crew Help website at www.yachtcrewhelp.org, including mental health and wellbeing, bullying and harassment, sexual assault, substance misuse and employment concerns.

Supporting organisations

Yacht Crew Help would not be possible without the support and guidance of a number of key companies and organisations: Bond Technology Management & Consultancy (Primary partner); Y.CO (Official yachting partner); Burgess (Gold sponsor); MYBA (Gold sponsor); LYBRA (Gold sponsor); The Professional Yachting Association; Nautilus International; wilsonhalligan; MHG Insurance Brokers; United Advisers Marine; Yotspot; AYSS; Yachting Matters; Superyacht Charities; Impact Crew; International Superyacht Society; and Superyacht Services Guide.