Seamen's Mission offers online counselling

As of late, the Deutsche Seemanns Mission e. V. (DSM – German Seamen's Mission) offers seafarers a new service. With the web-address, the DSM operates a chat platform on which seafarers can turn to employees of the Seamen's Mission with their issues, worries and distress.

The DSM has a widely spread network with its 16 national and 14 international stations with seamen's clubs, hotels and on-board counsellors. However, the corona pandemic has completely changed the work of the seamen's missions as well. The popular facilities for seafarers had to close and the on-board counselling cannot take place in same manner as it did before either. Long counselling sessions are not possible – because of the fear of infection. Sometimes what remains is a small talk on the gangway so that the connection with the outside world does not completely break off.

In this situation, the DSM has started their chat counselling which can be accessed worldwide via the internet address Co-initiator Matthias Ristau, seamen's pastor of the German "Nordkirche", explains: "All encoded and safe, available from early in the morning till late at night". Especially now that many seafarers fear for the well-being of their families, such a service is all the more important, he says.

On the chat platform, seafarers meet professional counsellors, experienced social workers and psycho-social experts of the DSM who are most familiar with the special living situation and working environment of seafarers. was developed by a DSM team and is an additional offer for seafarers under these changing conditions of maritime navigation. This way, seafarers can be provided counselling support during straining situations right there and then and no matter where with the click of a mouse or via the smartphone. The DSM affirms: Even if the internet cannot replace personal contact, the members of staff of the German Seamen's Mission are there for the seafarers as contact partner.