In late October, news broke that Alaska Airlines Flight 2059 was forced to make an emergency diversion in Portland en route to San Francisco after an off-duty pilot attempted to “interfere with engine operation.”
Identified as Joseph Emerson, news later broke that he had been apprehended by crew members and taken into custody. He currently faces 83 attempted murder charges against him. This includes one case for each passenger and crew member. In a recent interview, new york timesEmerson has unveiled a portrait of a man who made a “big mistake” during a mental health crisis.
According to the report, he is still suffering from the after-effects of a nightmarish psychedelic trip caused by the psilocybin mushrooms he ingested 48 hours earlier, which left him feeling “trapped in a dream.” It is said that it had become. He brought psychoactive bacteria on a trip with his friends to mourn the death of his best friend, but the death left him deeply saddened and forced to confront long-standing mental health issues. In the report, Emerson said his therapist commented that he likely suffered from depression, but the therapist was unable to diagnose him. He received a formal diagnosis from his doctor and was told to consider antidepressants. The only problem was that he feared this would jeopardize his family’s livelihood and career.
As details emerge about what happened to Emerson on the flight, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced On November 9, the company announced it would form a committee to “make recommendations to break down barriers that prevent pilots from reporting mental health issues to government agencies.” What the FAA can do is disqualify Pilots suffering from depression or receiving prescribed treatment while flying. In 2010, the agency approved the use of certain antidepressants for patients with mild or moderate depression. However, the monitoring period can span several years.
“This avoidance can have serious consequences. Health issues may be reported that may affect pilot performance and, in our company’s performance, safety implications. .”
In August, The Washington Post reported Federal authorities are investigating 5,000 pilots for allegedly falsifying medical records to hide benefits they received for health problems that could affect their ability to fly. An anonymous study published in the journal Environment Health in 2016 found that hundreds of commercial airline pilots may be clinically depressed and still fly.a more recent research It has been found that many pilots avoid medical professionals for fear that disclosing a health problem could cost them the medical certificate they need to fly.
Captain Reyné O’Shaughnessy, co-founder and CEO of Piloting 2 Wellbeing, told Salon that this concern often stems from the airline industry’s “heavy regulations.”
“And there is a recognition that health issues can threaten the ability to fly, and in some cases they do,” she says. “The importance of this is that this avoidance can have serious consequences. Health issues may be reported that can affect the pilot’s performance, and in our company’s performance. This may affect safety.”
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In fact, Emerson was not the first pilot to malfunction in public. In 2012, passengers on a JetBlue flight were told by the pilot:strange aerial disintegration” reported the New York Times. In July, a United Airlines pilot drove an ax into a parking lot fence at the Denver airport. told the police He had “reached his breaking point.” In 2015, a Germanwings pilot intentionally crashed The plane crashed into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.
O’Shaughnessy said the industry is making progress in promoting greater transparency. Prior to 2010, pilots could not fly if they disclosed that they suffered from depression or anxiety.
“The paradox is that we have a system where you have to self-report if you suffer from depression or anxiety,” she says. “But the paradox is, if it affects their lives, why would pilots report it?”
“Mental health and mental health should be a shared responsibility, and that means involving all stakeholders in this aviation industry.”
FAA claims 0.1% of medical certificate applicants who disclose health issues are being rejected, seeks to uncover more health issues the pilot comes forward. But not everyone who discloses and goes through the monitoring period has the sick leave to get through it. Additionally, there is the fear of what others will think.
In addition to prioritizing mental health in pilot training and addressing the demanding lifestyle required of pilots, including sleepless nights and no hot meals on board, O’Shaughnessy said a “culture change” would solve the problem. He said it was part of the plan. work.
“What I see is that companies are basically just checking a box,” she says. “Mental health and mental health should be a shared responsibility, and that means involving all stakeholders in this aviation industry.”
While it’s understandable to expect mental health standards for pilots who are responsible for hundreds of lives every day, some mental health experts say this is due to systemic forces that are undermining the ongoing mental health problems among American men. They say it’s another way to perpetuate the health crisis. And the cultural change O’Shaughnessy mentioned could come from outside the airline industry.In America, women are twice as likely to receive a diagnosis of depressionDespite this, men are more likely to die by suicide. Almost 80 percent of suicides are men, the majority of whom are over 75 years old, and those who work there. More male-dominated industriesconstruction and transportation etc.
Men are less likely to receive treatment than women; ask for help.Dr. Carla Manley, clinical psychologist and author ofjoy from fear” told Salon that a workplace culture where employees feel like they have to “camouflage” mental health issues for fear of repercussions can have a negative impact.
“Given the prevalence of certain ridiculous beliefs such as “Real men are tough” and “Only weak people need mental support,” people who suffer from mental health issues have a hard time getting the support they need. “We’re often afraid to ask,” she says. “In my clinical research, I have found that men, even more than women, are hesitant to disclose mental health issues for fear of being judged, ignored, or worse. I definitely noticed that.”
“Men who lean in and accept support for their mental health think differently about strength,” she said. “Being mentally strong means being able to overcome complex emotions and become smarter, more adaptable, and more engaged in life.”
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