WMU Hosts NordPlus Project Meeting Focused on Dealing With Anxiety During a Pandemic

From 18-20 January, the World Maritime University (WMU) hosted the second face-to-face meeting of partners for the Nordplus project, “Dealing with anxiety during a pandemic to improve adult well-being”. The partner organizations include the Education Innovations Transfer Centre (Latvia), NGO Estonian Institute for Open Society Research (Estonia), and the Center For Adult Learning Vilnius Gabriele Petkevicaite-Bite Adult Education Centre (Lithuania).

During the meeting, the partners presented survey results from their respective countries. In Sweden, the respondents represented maritime organizations. The survey outcomes helped to identify the training needs of organizations to determine the specific modules of the training programme to be developed by each partner and finalized at the next meeting scheduled for June in Lithuania.

The main aim of Nordplus is to contribute to diminishing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on workplaces by the development and implementation of training for leaders and employees of organizations, including in the maritime sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected workplaces and individuals’ work-life balance, resulting in potentially impaired psychological well-being of employees. Remote work, limited opportunities for socialization, the pressures of home-schooling, etc. are situations that may cause higher levels of stress and anxiety. During emotional stress, peer support plays an important role, and the understanding and ability of a company or institution's management to provide favorable psycho-emotional and psychosocial conditions in work teams is particularly important. However, leaders do not always have enough knowledge and skills to lead a team in a particularly high emotional risk setting.

The expected results of Nordplus include the following: 1)  develop and pilot a unique, systematic, and well thought out training programme that is easily adaptable to support leaders in successfully reducing pandemic related anxiety and successively enhance the well-being of their employees through a positive psycho-emotional and psychosocial workplace environment; 2) to promote the practical inclusion of the training programme in adult education agendas; 3) to prepare trainers to implement the training programme; and 4) to provide practical training for managers of companies and institutions. The specific role of WMU involves contributing to the development of the training material and the adaptation of the material for maritime organizations and leaders. 

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