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Free Relate counselling offered for UK seafarers

26 May 2020

A new partnership between Seafarers UK and counselling agency Relate means seafarers and their families whose relationships are at stretching point from the stress of the coronavirus pandemic, can be referred for free relationship counselling.

Seafarers UK can refer its beneficiaries UK wide for up to six free relationship counselling sessions with Relate, which offers a range of relationship support services across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Focussing on the merchant navy and fishing fleet, the service aims to help those struggling to maintain healthy family and couple relationships.

The issues can be long standing or Covid-19 related, from loneliness to lockdown related tensions, rows and arguments to affairs and separation. The service is available now across the UK, for individuals, couples, families, children and young people.

Eligible seafarers include those current serving and former, Merchant Navy, fishing fleet, partners and dependants, who are struggling to maintain healthy family and relationship.

'Due to the nature of seafaring, there may be prolonged absence from home causing challenges in maintaining family and couple relationships. The work can be isolating with limited opportunity to share concerns or issues with supportive networks, while for loved ones there is often a continual anxiety over safety, Seafarers UK and Relate said in a joint statement.

'The cost of accessing counselling can be prohibitive at any time and with the fishing fleet being hard hit by Covid-19, we are thrilled to be able to make support available to our seafarers for free.'

The available counselling can include:

  • relationship counselling for couples/individuals/singles – up to six sessions
  • family counselling – up to six sessions
  • young people's counselling – up to six sessions (Must be 11-years and over)
  • sex therapy – up to 12 sessions

The sessions will be carried out in the UK, and initially online via webcam, telephone, Live Chat, with the possibility of face to face later.

Self-referrals are not accepted. Referrals need to be made by via a referral from from the referring charity.

Members needing support in relationship issues must speak to a union official first, and can find their industrial contact by logging in to My Nautilus.

  • for further information contact seafarers@relate.org.uk

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