Industry Leaders put Social and Mental Health of Seafarers on the Maritime Agenda
WellAtSea (owned by Seably AB), an award-winning digital crew wellness platform that engages seafarers in impactful and lasting lifestyle changes, has celebrated 5 years in the business with a forum in Manila on Friday 25th November. The forum saw industry leaders come together to exchange ideas and discuss the impact of safety culture on seafarers within the maritime sector.
The forum, titled Xchange:, shared hard hitting data collected by WellAtSea to encourage industry leaders to work together to bring seafarer’s wellbeing to the forefront of their business agenda. Ideas were exchanged about whether health and safety training programs could be extended to include mental and social health.
Since inception, WellAtSea has seen incredible growth, starting with just 19 pilot vessels in 2017 with 473 vessels in 2022. Over 18,000 seafarers and 150 cadets from 46 different nationalities have been part of the program within the last 5 years with 84% engagement in active ships at any one time and seafarers reporting significant improvements in their emotional and physical health. The ‘human element’ in shipping (IMO A947) is known to be a ‘complex’ and ‘multi-dimensional issue’, yet the forum presented hard proof that putting seafarers at the centre of a maritime business strategy not only improves the bottom line, but solves industry issues with recruitment challenges as well as meeting the next generation of seafarers’ needs.
Delegates heard from Gisa Paredes, M.A., RPsy, Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer WellAtSea and Andrea Lodolo, CEO of Seably. This was followed by insightful presentations by Andi Bastian, Training Manager at BW Group, Bong Regalado, Marine HR Manager at Berge Bulk and Lars Gruenitz, Managing Director at Norstar who each shared first-hand experience and data that demonstrated how engaging with the WellAtSea program had positively impacted their businesses through improved health and safety, CSR, recruitment.
Gisa Paredes, M.A., RPsy, Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer, WellAtSea “Five years feels like a huge milestone, and I can see the tide is starting to turn. The attitude towards crew welfare was very different when we started and a ‘meeting of minds’ in a forum like XChange: would have been impossible. Now I look at how the industry is starting to share learnings, accept the data and see that caring for seafarers isn’t an optional extra, it is the ONLY way to profitably and fairly propel the maritime sector towards the future”.
Andrea Lodolo, CEO Seably “It is important for all of us to challenge the norms, foster discussion and bring about new ways of thinking, especially when it comes to the many benefits that come from valuing a team. For too long the plight of seafarers has been at the bottom of the agenda and at Seably we are driven to ensure that this changes through technology and innovation that benefits seafarers and helps businesses grow”.
- In 2021 an industry study showed that 40.8% of seafarers were overweight. This compares to 25% of seafarers in the WellAtSea program
- In 2019 it was revealed that 10% of seafarers were obese, as compared to only 3% in the WellAtSea program.
- Studies from 2019 revealed that 28.96% of seafarers smoked. A figure significantly reduced in seafarers on the WellAtSea program with only 9%.
Gisa Paredes is a Licensed and Registered Psychologist in the Philippines and Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer of WellAtSea. She works to enhance employee productivity and increase mental resilience, socialisation and physical strength using evidence-based approaches in building sustainable behaviour change. Gisa is especially interested in health psychology and helping people achieve wellness by accessing the power of the mind. Gisa has more than a decade of experience, in training groups, running workshops, and supporting solutions in preventive health.
WellAtSea – www.wellatsea.com – was founded in 2017 and now has offices in Copenhagen, Denmark and Manila, The Philippines. In October 2022 it was bought by Seably as part of its innovation and digitalisation strategy for seafarers.
WellAtSea was established to improve the well-being of seafarers through sustainable lifestyle changes and now caters to 46 different nationalities. Its proven, evidence-based programmes are designed and created by health experts to help safeguard all seafarers’ mental and physical well-being, on and offshore. Through the WellAtSea SaaS platform, seafarers can access rewards by engaging with specialised health education, team and fitness activities and mental health support.
Andrea Lodolo, is Chief Executive Officer of Seably and a maritime industry thought leader. He has over two decades of senior managerial experience as well as ten years of CEO strategic planning and implementation positions within the technical commodities and maritime services sectors. As the CEO of Seably, Andrea is passionate about driving change for seafarers through innovation and digitalisation in the maritime sector.
Seably AB is a rapidly growing remote business with a mission to accelerate digitalisation in the maritime sector, through innovative solutions that boost crew performance, wellbeing and safety, whilst helping organisations grow.
The company focuses on user-friendly SaaS products with a current portfolio consisting of Seably, a DNV approved digital learning platform for the maritime industry and WellAtSea, an award-winning digital crew wellness platform that engages seafarers in impactful and lasting lifestyle changes.
Seably AB has 70 staff in 23 countries. It is the first maritime business to take part in the 4-day a week global pilot program.