Isca Wellbeing - News

The latest headlines from Isca Wellbeing Ltd

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Isca Wellbeing receives Recognition from The Bahamas Maritime Authority for their 2-Day Seafarer Mental Health Awareness & Wellbeing Training course

July 23, 2021

The Bahamas Maritime Authority press release...

The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) has recognised the Seafarer Mental Health Awareness and Wellbeing course offered by Isca Wellbeing as complying with the requirements set out by The BMA. The course, which is non-STCW or other convention-related, is the first seafarer mental health training recognised by The BMA.

The training, which is based on the Maritime Charities Group (MCG) Mental Health Awareness & Wellbeing Training Standard, has been designed specifically for seafarers to help them to understand the different types of mental health disorders and their causes. It enables participants to recognise changes in behaviour in themselves and in others and gives guidance as to how to respond to these changes and where to find assistance and support. Finally, the course demonstrates the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’ – a pathway that will help seafarers to promote their own mental wellbeing.

Both seafarers and shore-based personnel are already feeling the benefits from participation in the course with feedback showing that 100% of delegates now have the knowledge to recognise signs of poor mental health in themselves and others, and that they now know how to respond if a colleague or seafarer is facing a mental health crisis.

The BMA has long taken a proactive stance on the wellbeing of seafarers, it has launched the Seafarer COVID-19 Welfare Survey, responses from which are still being received, and so was eager to give recognition to a training course which would be of benefit to seafarers worldwide, not just those flagged with The BMA but also the wider industry.  Although not a requirement of The BMA, the flag is pleased to be able to bring it to the attention of crews and their owners.

Capt Jerry Mooney, Technical & Compliance Officer in The BMA’s Seafarers & Manning Department, said, “It made perfect sense for The BMA to consider Isca Wellbeing’s approach regarding course recognition.  As can be seen with our Mental Health Survey (run in collaboration with researchers at the University of Washington) we are already leading ship registries in promoting the importance of Seafarer’s Mental Health.  Now, with our recognition of Isca Wellbeing’s Mental Health Training, we can also show that we are intent on doing something about it.  Seafarers are the life blood of the world’s trade and we must ensure they are cared for.”

COVID-19 has undoubtedly exacerbated the mental health challenges for seafarers who, even prior to the pandemic, were already showing the effects of long periods away from loved ones, isolation, trouble sleeping, rough seas, quality of food, cultural differences onboard and job insecurity.  The development of a course to help address these issues could not come too soon.

John Burden, Managing Director of Isca Wellbeing said, “There are some very good services that respond to seafarers who are in need, but we wanted to offer a more proactive approach and have pulled together a highly qualified team to create the Seafarer Mental Health Awareness and Wellbeing course.  Everyone involved has a connection to maritime and understands the unique challenges of life at sea – our operational team also run a crewing agency, and our mental health trainers have a personal connection to this industry that we love. We approached The BMA with the course as we had identified The Bahamas as a flag with a particular interest in the mental health and wellbeing of its crew and as an authority which shares our ethos. The 2-day course, which is delivered either via Zoom or in person, complements our existing service in which we provide weekly mental health training and support videos to over 15,000 seafarers. We are delighted that The BMA has recognised the course and look forward to starting to work with its crews, educating them on mental health and how to look after their wellbeing, whether at sea or on dry land.”

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Training of 1st phase cadets is complete, and the results are in...

June 30, 2021

Over the first half of 2021, Isca Wellbeing has been working with Chilten Maritime, taking 1st phase cadets through their 2-Day Seafarer Mental Health Awareness & Wellbeing Training course.

With all 1st phase cadets now trained, Isca Wellbeing has complied the feedback, which can be seen in the chart above.

Isca Wellbeing also received a 100% positive response to the questions:

  • Has the course given you the knowledge you need to recognise the signs of poor mental health in yourself and others - specifically seafarers?

  • Has this course given you the knowledge you need to respond if a colleague or seafarer is facing a mental health crisis?

'The feedback is great. We know that cadets are more susceptible to suffering from poor mental health onboard, so the decision by Chiltern Maritime to provide this training, and the willingness of the sponsors to invest in it, was really encouraging. We're very happy to be able to show these results to clients, and we hope this will ensure we continue working with cadets - which we really enjoy.' Lee Loveless, Lead Mental Health Trainer at Isca Wellbeing.

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Strong results for the Isca Wellbeing weekly wellbeing videos

May 20, 2021

The value to seafarers of Isca Wellbeing's weekly videos was evidenced in a recent client survey.


The client, who shows the videos onboard their managed fleet of 22 container & dry bulk ships, asked their crew about their awareness of the weekly videos onboard, whether or not they engaged with the weekly wellbeing activities provided in the videos, and how useful they found the activities. The results were:

  • 86.67% of crew were aware of the wellbeing videos and activities

  • 96.55% of the crew who are aware of the videos watched the videos and undertook the activities

  • 97.10% of crew who watched the videos found the information & activities helped them in their wellbeing journey  (55.17% = most activities were interesting & hlepful, 37.93% = some activities were interesting & helpful)

'We're absolutely delighted to get that level of engagement. Most importantly, we know that our videos are helping crew with their own sense of wellbeing.' Richard Guy, Training Director at Isca Wellbeing.

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Isca Wellbeing Ltd receives MNTB recognition, UK chamber of shipping endorsement

Courses Delivered online or face-to-face

Isca Wellbeing Ltd is the first company to receive Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB) recognition for their new Seafarer Mental Health Awareness & Wellbeing course based on the new MNTB, Maritime Charities Group (MCG) Mental Health Awareness & Wellbeing Training Standard.

Commenting on the award, John Burden, Managing Director of Isca Wellbeing said:

“We're absolutely delighted to have gained recognition from the Merchant Navy Training Board and endorsement from the UK Chamber of Shipping for this course. As part of the recognition process, we delivered pilot courses across 4 time zones, to seafarers, crew managers and company trainers, from all the major commercial and passenger shipping sectors. The feedback from the course attendees, from each sector, has been incredible, which is testament to the excellent work done by the MNTB and the Maritime Charities Group in developing the training standard on which the course is based, and credit to our brilliant mental health trainers. We are proud to be the first company to offer this course, and look forward to commencing the important work of educating seafarers, cadets and industry professionals on mental health and how to look after their wellbeing, whether at sea or on dry land.”


Welcoming the news, Director of the MNTB, Kathryn Neilson, said:

“We are delighted that Isca Wellbeing have been awarded recognition for their new course. When the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB) and the Maritime Charities Group (MCG) developed the Mental Health Awareness & Wellbeing Training Course, we were very keen to encourage companies to adopt the criteria to build a great programme. Isca Wellbeing have done just that. The standard has been adopted to enable Isca Wellbeing to provide candidates with the tools to manage their own mental health, and that of their co-workers.  We look forward to seeing many seafarers sign up to this great course.”

The MNTB Recognition Scheme provides an independent verification for quality training delivered through gold standard training centres. The criteria requires the Training Company to provide evidence that the specified course meets an identified industry need; has been effectively constructed and demonstrates exemplary standards in delivery, management and quality assurance.