Steamship Mutual has launched an initiative to give seafarers struggling with mental health problems immediate access to professional care while at sea.

The move is the latest attempt by protection and indemnity clubs to address these issues, which have become increasingly critical since the Covid-19 pandemic forced up to 300,000 seafarers to work well beyond their contracted period of employment.

Steamship Mutual has signed up with Mental Health Support Solutions (MHSS), a company set up by clinical psychologists Charles ­Watkins and Susann Rusch to assist shipping companies provide support to crew.