In a recent article titled “Suffering in silence: Why some pilots are avoiding mental health care,” lawyer Joe LoRusso of Ramos Law was featured voicing concerns over the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) policies regarding pilots’ mental health. The FAA currently requires professional pilots to undergo routine medical exams, including mental health assessments, to ensure their fitness to fly. However, LoRusso argues that these policies are outdated and overly restrictive, leading to pilots avoiding necessary mental health treatment out of fear of losing their certification.
LoRusso, a pilot and an aviation law specialist, points out that untreated mental health issues can lead to serious consequences. He says, “That lack of treatment just compounds, and what could be acute anxiety or acute depression due to maybe the loss of a loved one compounds and builds, and eventually, with no treatment, it’s going to reach its breaking point.”
Moreover, LoRusso believes these policies are contributing to the ongoing pilot shortage, as potential candidates may avoid the profession to evade medical scrutiny, or they may disclose treatment and fail to meet the medical standards.
The FAA maintains that its policies are necessary to protect passenger safety and has recently invested in resources to decrease the stigma around mental health in the aviation community. Despite these efforts, LoRusso insists on the need for policy reform, advocating for a more compassionate approach that encourages pilots to seek help without fear of repercussions.
Read the full article here.
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