Addressing mental health issues among pilots

Hundreds of commercial airline pilots currently flying may be clinically depressed, a study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has found.

The new findings, published a year and a half after the tragic Germanwings crash, signal the need to tackle stigma and better support pilots dealing with mental health issues.

The study is the first to describe airline pilot mental health – with a focus on depression and suicidal thoughts – outside of the information derived from aircraft accident investigations, regulated health examinations, or identifiable self-reports.

After surveying almost 1,850 anonymously reporting airline pilots on their mental health, it found that 12.6% of them met the depression threshold, while a further 4.1% reported having suicidal thoughts.

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