Depressed pilots do not seek help

pilotsPilots: Photo.

One out of ten pilots show signs of struggling with depression, but refrain from seeking help for fear of losing their jobs, according to a new study.

The Harvard study comes in the wake of a mentally ill German pilot who deliberately crashed a Germanwings aircraft in the French Alps in March last year. All 150 passengers died.

Of the 1,850 pilots from over 50 countries who participated in the anonymous online survey, 12.6 percent showed signs of depression. Around four percent report having had suicidal thoughts during the last two weeks.

The most interesting discovery, according to the study’s lead author, however, is that they do not seek help.

– We found that many pilots flying today manage symptoms of depression, and that it appears that they do not seek help because of a fear that it will have negative consequences on their career, says Joseph Allen, who thinks there is a “veil of secrecy” surrounding health problems among pilots.

The symptoms of depression occurred especially often among pilots who took high doses of sleeping pills, or had experienced sexual or verbal harassment.

World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 350 million people in the world are struggling with depression.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today