The effects of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown have had a profound effect on people and
their relationships. People talk about social distancing as the new normal, but for those of us who
work at sea, being away from our loved ones and people in general is and has been our normal.
For Fishermen, staying at home for weeks and months on end is something you may not have
done for many years. The nature of the industry means that when not not at sea, fishermen are
likely not earning. At the same time, the uncertainty of Brexit continues to loom above us all.
It is not surprising then, if some or all of these stress factors have led to complications or
breakdown in relationships with partners, children or others that we may have been living with.
It’s important to know that you are not alone. Your experience is shared by many of us across the
Fishing community, and society more generally. That’s why Relate NI are offering fully funded
counselling sessions to fishermen.
In partnership with Seafarers UK, Relate NI are providing free individual, couple and family
counselling services to seafarers, fishermen and anybody that works at sea or has done in the past.
The counselling is available to these individuals but also to their families and dependents.
Relate NI counsellors have been providing expert relationship advice and confidential counselling
services for over 70 years. You or a member of your family can avail of 6 free sessions using
webcam, telephone or in person for as long as it remains safe to do so.
Relate NI Engagement Officer Stevie Maginn says; “Relationship maintenance works to prevent
relationships breaking down, and will lead to much better outcomes than if you wait until you are
in crisis to seek help. According to our annual survey, 85% of service users said they wished they
had attended Relate NI counselling sooner.”
In order to avail of these fully funded counselling services, please contact SAIL (Seafarers Advice &
Information Line) through their online enquiry form, by email or by phone on 0800 160 1842 and
asking for counselling support. SAIL will then release the funding for your sessions and a member
of Relate will contact you within two days and book you in for your initial assessment.
For more information, visit http://www.relateni.org/seafarers_fishermen or email