Maritime Mental Health

Our Ref: HSR/1/9
Head Office Circular: NP/331/21
6th September 2021
To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague,


Further to Head Office Circular NP/220, dated 24th June, your National Executive Committee, at its meeting on 22nd June 2021, considered the following note of a Maritime Mental Health meeting which took place on 1st September:

In attendance were Kevin Jewell (NEC M1), Sean Miskimmon (NEC M2), Jake Molloy (Regional Organiser) Jonathan Havard (H&S Officer) and Darren Procter (National Secretary).

Maritime Health and Safety Handbook: to be finalised over the next few weeks

Maritime Mental Health Courses: a meeting to be arranged between Andy Gilchrist, Andy Boyak, JH and DP to discuss, dates, length of courses (understood to be two days), and whether digital, physical or hybrid (it was noted that there are new IT suits in some Regional Offices). Discussion required as to whether modifications required for Offshore workers, and focus particularly needed on inshore and offshore divers

The template letter sent out to ROs in order to contact employers where RMT has a relationship/ recognition and a matrix compiled of employer approach to mental health needs to be updated and finalised within four weeks. JH to write again to ROs, also asking what work has been done on mental health issues in their portfolios- we know good work is being done but need to be informed in order to place reports on file

Meeting with Togetherall (formerly Big White Wall) is scheduled to take place on 6th September (JH/DP and Dan Henderson)
A meeting with the CEO of the Seafarers Hospital Society [SHS] (Sandra Welch) took place on 25th August, following which RMT was invited to a roundtable discussion on 1st September on preventing poor mental and physical health among seafarers in the long-term: identifying impactful, implementable action. The SHS has grants available via the Anchor Fund for those in need and can pay for face-to-face therapy sessions. It has information on its website about its free services and seems happy to work closely with RMT in these matters
Posters: A5 versions of “Don’t Suffer in Silence” are about to be produced, together with a further batch of the original A3 poster (which has been well received)

Videos: the National Secretary’s video posted on Twitter and Facebook has been well received; another is pending shortly
Newsletter: a quarterly or six-monthly Maritime Health and Safety newsletter of about four pages to be produced going forward.

Your NEC resolved as follows:

That we note the report of our Maritime Mental Health meeting and the action points raised. We also note the progress that has been made in promoting our Mental Health campaign. We therefore instruct the General secretary to issue a circular to all Shipping Branches and Regional Councils notifying them of our progress to date. All further reports to be placed back before the NEC.

I am acting in accordance with these instructions.

Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.

Yours sincerely

Michael Lynch
General Secretary