When the Germanwings tragedy came to light, the interest on the topic of pilot mental health was overwhelming. CAPA understands the need to ensure those suffering mental health issues, who are in safety critical jobs, must be identified, given support and monitored to ensure they do not pose a safety risk.
Mental health problems are often treatable and should not be seen as a bar on becoming or remaining a pilot.
Pilots believe the biggest problem is the stigma attached to mental health problems. The aviation industry needs to bring these issues out in to the open so those who are suffering are not driven underground. We believe that with the correct monitoring, support and treatment people who have suffered mental health issues like stress and depression can often return to work.
Mental health problems are often treatable and are not necessarily a bar to remaining as a pilot. We believe it is our duty to ensure that those who have mental health issues and are in safety critical positions, must be identified and we must first ensure that they do not prove a safety risk. Of equal importance, we feel that they should be monitored and given the necessary support.
There is strong evidence that support is the best way to identify and treat those with mental health issues. Programs exist in Europe, the US and Canada which have proven to be very successful in identifying pilots in need of professional help, treating them and returning them to the flight deck. We believe similar programs could be adopted here and may help those who go through difficult times here in the Cayman Islands. The association is open to new or improved methods to ensure the effectiveness of the mental health screen that Pilots undergo as part of their mandatory health check, in order to identify those in need of professional help.