New mental health support service for Ukrainian seafarers and families

The Stella Maris chaplain and volunteers still operating in Odesa are facing increasing demands for mental health support from Ukrainian seafarers and their families suffering trauma, worry and fear during the ongoing war.

The Stella Maris Seafarers Support Service, a new programme of medium to long term support from professional psychologists in Ukraine, is now being put in place. The platform will provide a programme of remote, ongoing psychological consultation for those most in need.

International law firm HFW has very kindly agreed to fund the first tranche of this programme by sponsoring Stella Maris on Monday 10 October – World Mental Health Day. 

Paul Dean, Global Head of Shipping and Senior Mental Health Champion at HFW, said: “Seafarers already have one of the toughest jobs on the planet – a life at sea can mean months away from loved ones, long hours, and some of the roughest weather imaginable. But those in Ukraine have also been living with the terrible realities of war, while bravely continuing the vital role all seafarers play in enabling global trade. We are proud to be helping Stella Maris in providing them with much-needed mental health support.”

Stella Maris UK CEO Martin Foley added: “The trauma of living in a war zone, with sporadic missile and drone attacks, cannot be overestimated. Many seafarers have also been separated from their families which has added to their anxiety. This project will ensure seafarers and their families can take mental health action at a critical time and we offer our sincere thanks to HFW on their behalf.”