אני,,, ממש לא מוטרד, זה הוא..
אני,,, ממש לא מוטרד, זה הוא..
אני,,, ממש לא צריך מנטור לקברניטאות, יש חברים אני מסתדר! מה לי ולזה? דכאון זה הוא! זה בגרמניה. מה זה רעות? מי הולך לשם? למה
התנדבותי, דיסקרטי. התכנית משלבת כתף תומכת ופתיחות תחת מטריית עולם תוכן זהה. בפרויקט בישראל כ 25 מתנדבים, המלווים חברים ברגעים והזדמנויות שונות בחיים, מקורס קליטה דרך קברניטאות, מאתגרים זמנייים בתחום המקצועי והאישי וכל דבר אשר השיח בגינו מסייע, משקיט ותורם. צריך את זה?
חברות וחברים שלום,
״גון״ הוא שם בדוי, כמו כולנו. קצין ראשון שעובד בחברת תעופה אוסטרלית. מצ״ב מאמר בכתב ידו שנערך ופורסם על ידי ארגון רעו״ת הניו זילנדי, NZALPA . פרויקט רעות הוא פרויקט בינלאומי בן 30 שנה. הפרויקט מנגיש טייסים ואנשי צוות לשיחות עם טייסים ואנשי צוות אחרים, על בסיס
אני יודע כי עולה לכם בראש מטוס הצולל לעבר האלפים, אולם התאונה של German Wings, אינה הראשונה הנוגעת לבריאות הנפש ופרויקט רעות מגיש אוזן קשבת לטייסים כמונו בשלבים מקצועיים ואישיים שונים. החל מרגע מקצועי פחות מוצלח, דרך קורס הכשרה תובעני, תקופה מאתגרת בבית ועד להתמודדות עם משוב שהיינו רוצים לשפר. פרויקט רעות אינו פרויקט פסיכיאטרי ולא צריך לצלול לדיכאונות עמוקים כדי לדבר ולהקשיב על עצמינו ועל חברינו.
העדות האישית של ״ג׳ון״, המובאת כאן היא דוגמה יחסית קיצונית, אולם אם נהיה ישרים עם עצמינו לכולנו יש רגעים פחות טובים ותקופות שהינו רוצים שיראו אחרת. הידיעה שיש כלי המאפשר לך לשוחח היא ידיעה חשובה ומחזקת. לא המצאנו כלום, הרגולציה העולמית מתייחסת ודורשת תכניות דומות בחברות שונות בעולם. סיפורו של ג׳ון חשוב להבנת הנושא הרגיש, שהביא אותנו בישראל, כמו בהרבה מקומות בעולם, להקים את רעו״ת-רשת עזרה ותמיכה לטייסים, ע״י טייסים, בחסות האיגוד. בחרנו להשאיר את המאמר בשפתו המקורית ע״מ לא לאבד מהאוטנטיות שלו בתרגום.
צוות ״רעות״, איגוד הטייסים הישראלי.
SLIPPING THE SURLY BONDS OF THE BLUES
My name is "John", I am a pilot, a First Officer, one of your colleagues. I love flying, I love my job. I love a beer or two and a laugh. But I'm hiding something that you would never ordinarily know; I have a mental illness.
I had a 'normal' upbringing, and a generally typical life. Most of my career has been spent indulging the joys that our lifestyle brings us. A few years ago though, I started to sense that something just wasn't quite right. My mood was different; I was reacting to things and people that I wouldn't usually. I was more easily distracted by stressors and my home life suffered. At first I figured I was tired, jet lag was taking its toll, or it was combining with other factors such as a disengaged career path. Then one day, in a hotel on a slip, I found myself trying to end my life by hanging from a belt. It was the wakeup call I needed to get help immediately.
For many of you this will be a statement that causes a mix of emotions, perhaps anger or frustration, because you don't know how to react. Surely I'm not still flying then? Surely I'm not safe enough to be on a flight deck with you? Well, I am, and thankfully, I'm a lot better now. Through a process of finding the right medical help, a lot of family support, and the friendship of a very few close individuals, I pulled myself back from the edge, and discovered that I had a form of mental illness, commonly referred to as depression, but in my case, caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain.
At first I thought this would be the end of my career, funnily enough one of the things that kept me going was my passion for aviation. By stopping flying, I would only be worsening the mood, and the black hole that I existed in. As it turns out, there is a well-trodden path for mentally ill pilots to maintain a medical, and in many ways is no different to a broken bone.
I self-reported to CASA and grounded myself, before commencing a much fought against medical treatment plan. I had always thought that medicating was giving in. It was for the weak, for people that were just going through a tough time in life. It turns out I couldn't have been more wrong.
The medicine made me feel terrible for a while; I couldn't sleep, my appetite disappeared, and my mood was all over the place. Nearly instantly however my state of mind improved and the fog started to lift. I had regular visits with my psychologist, some very raw conversations with my immediate family who were obviously reeling at what I was going through and a couple of visits with a psychiatrist (although in some cases, CASA will allow it to be with a GP). CASA required me to become established on the medicine, which takes around four weeks and then to monitor my mood for a period of time once established. That meant being off work for around two months all up. This was easily covered by sick leave, and a bit of annual leave, or in other words, full pay and no need to involve insurance. I gained a clearance to fly again, did a few simulators, and was back in the saddle. My colleagues were none the wiser of my journey, as I’d come up with a good story for my absence.
So far I've just wanted to let you know that there are solutions and avenues available for help. No matter how dark your world is right now or how silly you think you are being, there is help available. What really gets to me though is that I had to make up a story to cover up my depression.. If I'd broken my arm, I simply would have told my tale of woe in factual detail, perhaps even with a few embellishments to boot!
Why is it then that when it comes to mental illness, it all has to be hush hush? It's a simple answer really. People don't understand what they can't see. Also, mental illness covers so many different scenarios, that it isn't simple to pigeon hole it to a certain set of conditions, unlike the aforementioned broken bones, that most people can relate to. Just because my mental illness was due to a chemical imbalance, doesn't mean that someone having a tough time in their life and feeling 'depressed' is any less vulnerable or at risk. Or that their condition is no less important.
The stigma associated with mental illness presents incredible pressure. Someone is suffering from a major traumatic life event, and yet there are few people that they can actually open up to and talk about it with.
The German Wings accident has been a perfect example of how mental illness is handled and misunderstood by a vast majority of society. Whilst facts remain scarce, it is the way the industry has reacted that causes me the most concern. Within days of the accident, the finger was pointed at mental illness, and more importantly at depression. If we accept that the first officer took control of the aircraft and pointed it at the ground for his own reasons, then let me, as someone who knows, reassure you and tell you this isn't an act of a depressed person. He may have been mentally ill. He may have been suffering depression, but this was an act of murder.
There have been times, prior to recognizing my illness, where I have been sitting in loneliness and have been pondering the continuance of my own life. Not once, even in my darkest hour, nor after trying to end my own life, have I ever thought about taking others out with me. An individual who is depressed, and suicidal (not all depression leads to suicidal tendencies), simply wants their miserable life to be over. Data shows that it is usually in an isolated place, and alone. I understand that the aviation industry needed to be seen to react for public placation, however it is in my opinion, that sadly all this reaction has done is to cause further stigma around mental illness.
Please be conscious that there are colleagues of yours who might be suffering right now. Even after a period of much healing, I have found it to be a very confronting situation with the new procedures and often uneducated opinions being sprouted. Going to work was a great escape for me to get away from my troubles, and just enjoy flying, yet now every day I am confronted with the stigma and misunderstanding around mental illness.
I always felt that I couldn't really call someone and talk to them about what I was going through. At my darkest hours, picking up the phone was just out of the question. People who say 'I am always here for you', genuinely mean it, but they don't understand that the likelihood of you actually calling them at your low point is slim to none. This is why it is important to act early. In NZALPA, we have a fantastic resource pool available to us. The Member Assistance Program may not be able to help directly solve your problems, but they can help point you in the right direction, to provide the support that you may not have yet, and what I found of most use, to be the middle person in advising and liaising with management.
You are not alone. You are not weak, and you do not have to fight this fight alone. I've lost too many friends to mental illness, and my family and kids very nearly lost me.
"John", partner, dad, friend, colleague and professional pilot.
ג׳ון הוא שם לועזי, טייס בחברה זרה ומרוחקת. אולם המטוסים אותם מטוסים והאחריות גם כן, האתגרים ונקודות הפינה זהות בחייו של אדם, במקצוע כמו שלנו ביחוד. בגרות מקצועית נשענת גם על בגרות אישית, פנימית. היכולת שלך להתמודד עם האתגרים שמולך בוודאי נפלאה, ומה לגבי היכולת שלך להתמודד עם עצמך?
אנחנו כאן, צוות ״רעות״, איגוד הטייסים הישראלי.