The IMRF has officially launched its mental health and wellbeing guidance document as part of the organisation’s long-running #SARyouOK? initiative.

The #SARyouOK? campaign was first announced at the G5 International Mass Rescue Conference in June 2022 in Gothenburg, Sweden. The initiative, which is supported by Trinity House DFT Maritime Safety Fund, was founded to promote awareness and further breakdown the stigma that is attached to mental health and wellbeing issues for those working in the maritime SAR sector.

As part of the initiative, the IMRF looked to produce an official guidance document that would be freely accessible to all maritime SAR organisations to provide a clear and structured approach to managing the stress and trauma that SAR personnel experience on an often daily basis.

Download #SARYouOK? Guidance

The Guidance was officially launched during the IMRF’s #SARyouOK? Webinar on 14 February. The webinar was chaired by Caroline Jupe, CEO of the IMRF, while the speakers were Mark Bradley, a Critical Incident Responder and Trainer, and Matthew Fader from the Swedish Sea Rescue Society (SSRS), both of whom contributed extensively to the guidance.

Both Mark and Matthew spoke about their personal experiences of dealing with and managing stressful and challenging experiences both in maritime SAR and in other traumatic incidents.

The Guidance document also includes a series of case studies from some of the world’s leading SAR organisations, including those from Canada, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Uruguay, and the United Kingdom. It also includes a number of actions that maritime SAR organisations and leaders can undertake to improve the mental health of their personnel, including promoting a culture of openness, ensuring good working conditions are in place and having clear policies and procedures in place.

“The launch of our #SARyouOK? Guidance document is a landmark moment for the industry as we continue to improve the welfare and conditions of the personnel that put themselves at risk to keep us all safe at sea. Ensuring the mental health and wellbeing of our maritime SAR personnel is vital and I am proud that the IMRF continues to speak for the entire industry and put the welfare of our community front and centre,” said Caroline Jupe, CEO of the IMRF.

You can learn more about the IMRF’s #SARyouOK? initiative, including accessing the official Guidance document here: