JERSEY CITY, NJ – (August 2, 2021) Employee wellbeing provider Workplace Options (WPO) and Future Care, an International SOS company, have been recognized as finalists for the SAFETY4SEA Initiative Award. SAFETY4SEA, the world’s leading source of news and insight on the shipping industry hosts the annual awards ceremony in part to foster excellence and share best practices across the maritime industry.
Workplace Options and Future Care were nominated for their joint effort to improve seafarers’ access to emotional health support. In many cases, crew members struggling with emotional health issues must wait to dock at port before receiving professional support. WPO and Future Care partnered together to develop a resource that connects mariners with professional counselors via telephone while on ship, rather than having to wait weeks, sometimes months, to dock. This was especially critical in 2020 as ports closed due to COVID-19, leaving hundreds of thousands of mariners stranded at sea.
“Because WPO and Future Care already had the infrastructure in place, we were able to quickly ramp up our service to respond to the increased needs that followed as COVID-19 spread around the globe,” shares Alan King, President and CEO of Workplace Options. “Our counselors did a tremendous job helping crew members manage their fears and anxieties during a very difficult time.”
Christina DeSimone, Future Care Founder and CEO adds that “The pandemic has continued to demonstrate the importance of emotional support for our mariners and at Future Care we have seen all-time high case numbers, relating to mental health. By collaborating with Workplace Options over the past 3 years we have been able to build tailored global solutions for ship operators that unite our telemedical capabilities and maritime insight with the expertise of Workplace Options in the field of structured counselling and therapy.”
As part of the nomination, two case studies were shared to demonstrate the level of care WPO and Future Care were able to provide. Those case studies are available to view by clicking here.
In total, five nominations were shortlisted for the SAFETY4SEA Innovation Award. The process to determine the final winner is a combination of voting that is open to the general public, as well as voting by an industry panel. General voting is open to the public now through Friday, September 10. To vote, individuals should visit the award website, scroll to the Initiative Award category, and select the dual WPO Future Care logos. The winner will be named during the SAFETY4SEA Virtual Awards Ceremony on October 20, 2021.