“It was an honour to be shortlisted for the first-ever Innovation of the Year category at the 2023 Fishing News Awards. Then to be announced as the winner was beyond exciting,” Seafit manager Carol Elliott told FN. The SHOUT 24/7 service was identified by the SeaFit programme, a joint health and wellbeing initiative between the Seafarers’ Hospital Society and the Fishermen’s Mission, as a way of providing much- needed support for fishermen experiencing mental health issues.
The service is proving particularly helpful to younger fishermen. “Suicide, stress and worry, relationships, low mood, isolation and grief are the main issues people are texting to the service, and 100% of texters saw the service on social media,” said Carol.
“The Fishermen’s Mission and Seafarers’ Hospital Society are committed to running SHOUT for another year, and we are planning a new marketing campaign to ensure more fishermen and their families know about the service.”
Reflecting on last year’s awards ceremony, Carol told FN: “Being able to meet with other finalists and winners at the awards ceremony is a great way of acknowledging the hard work that goes on throughout the year – and also a good excuse to get dressed up!
“It’s been wonderful to be recognised for the work SeaFit does in the fishing industry, and we hope we can continue to improve access to health and wellbeing services for fishermen and their families for many years to come.”
Any fisherman or family member can text ‘FISH’ to 85258 for free, confidential 24/7 support.