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Caretakers of Seafarers

Seafarers are caretakers of the world’s oceans, but who are the caretakers of its seafarers?

Part of the answer was given at the AMOSUP Convention Center in Manila on 16 May 2024, when Captain Krishna Mundath, head of the Synergy Marine Group’s Manila office, was one of the presenters at a major event on maritime mental health, a labour relations-focussed gathering of 230 delegates from a wide array of core industry members and media.

It was hosted by the Manila-based ALMA (Association of Local Manning Agencies) Maritime Group and the Associated Marine Officers And Seamen’s Union Of The Philippines (AMOSUP), with support from a great many industry and related bodies. These included Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc (PTC), a representative of the ITF, the Philippine Trade and General Workers Organization (PTGWO) and the Kabayan Partylist, part of the Philippines House of Representatives. Kabayan means “countryman” or “citizen”, and Ms. Shivani Chauhan of Manah Wellness helped coordinate and organize the event with support from ALMA, Synergy and PTC.

We have long been training Well-being Champions, who engage directly with employees in bolstering their emotional health, and this seminar highlighted that our industry’s marine HR departments also have a key role in promoting and overseeing seafarer well-being. As captured by the ALMA Chair Atty. Iris V. Baguilat, “Marine HR personnel are champions for our seafarers”.

Alt tag :Synergy Marine’s Rahul Sachdeva speaking for mental health of seafarer
Discussion at ALMA event in Manila
Promoting seafarer’s health at ALMA event

The delegates engaged in interactive sessions designed to equip all HR personnel with the knowledge, tools and strategies that are needed to tackle the many challenges, so they can most effectively underpin the mental health and wellness of the crews that they support. Much emphasis was placed on collaborative efforts to ensure the best possible environment for seafarers and shore teams alike.

ASEC Sir Jerome Pampolina of the Philippines Department of Migrant Workers attended, and the Manila Marina Director Mr. Lui. U. Delos Santos gave some final reflections towards the end. The workshop also heard from Honourable Congressman Ron Salo of the Kabayan Partylist, with a keynote speech, and from VADM Eduardo Ma R Santos, Executive VP of AMOSUP and Ms. Karen Avelino, Senior VP at PTC, who had partnered with Synergy in launching WeTeam in 2021.

Capt. Rahul Sachdeva, who has now been tasked with leading WeTeam – having previously been involved in the seafarer mental wellness space, and also part of Synergy’s QHSE team – had engaging discussions on WeTeam’s efforts, and Captain Mundath’s closing remarks included simple truth that state of mind knows no boundaries, culture, race or religion, and that psychological wellness is for all.

Exactly so.