Free Relate counselling for fishing and seafaring communities

There are many reasons why working at sea can have an effect on couple and family relationships. These include financial pressures caused by unpredictable income; the physical hazards of working at sea; time spent away from loved ones and not being at home for birthdays and anniversaries. That’s why The Seafarers’ Charity have made free Relate counselling available to all fishers and their families and any UK resident working as a merchant seafarer.

Aidan Jones, Chief Executive of Relate, said:

‘Over the past 12 months we have seen more fishers and their families coming to Relate for free relationship support through our successful partnership with The Seafarers’ Charity. Our work here, particularly in the context of the pandemic, means we really understand the challenges that face the fishing and seafaring communities. We would encourage any current or former fishers, merchant seafarers and their dependents who want to talk about their relationships to come to Relate sooner rather than later to help address any issues that might be building’.

Relate is the largest provider of relationship support and people access Relate services for a variety of reasons. For some people Relate provides help to get a couple relationship back on track, whilst for others it provides support to address issues within families. Relate counsellors help people with wider issues impacting on their relationships such as bereavement, gambling, debt, parenting and also to cope with the impact of ‘crunch points’ such as having a child, retirement and redundancy. Whatever the issue, Relate can help to support couples, individuals, families, children from 5 – 10 years and also young people aged 11 – 18 years.

Through The Seafarers’ Charity’s partnership with Relate, fishers, merchant seafarers and their families can access up to six sessions. Sex therapy is also available. The services can be accessed by contacting SAIL on 0800 160 1842 or emailing and asking for a referral to Relate.

Catherine Spencer, CEO The Seafarers’ Charity said,

‘We recognise that the challenges of a seafaring life, including separation and money difficulties, can contribute to relationship stress. Our partnership with Relate allows seafarers to access help. We are committed to tackling problems at source. This service sits under our Health and Wellbeing strategic outcome – part of a range of work to help seafarers thrive.’

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