I am quite shocked to hear that a girl i didnt really know but with with who i flew once killer herself on Sunday.
It s always sad to hear that someone you knew (even just a little bit) commited suicide. She was 23, was in my airline only since January but she seemed to be a lovely girl. She left the airline 2 weeks ago and was about to start her training with BA.
I am not sure why i am posting this post but i wanted to know if you have ever heard of crew commiting suicide in your airline?
Unfortunately in British Airways it's not an unknown thing. We had had a couple of cabin crew commit suicide, alone in their rooms downroute. A couple of our captains took their own lives one at home, the other downroute.
Due to an injury at work I was posted into an office job where I had the misfortune of seeing all the death notices for serving staff. During the 6 months I was there I saw about 5-6 instances of suicide...
sadly crew suicide is not an uncommon occurrence in Qantas.
Im not sure why the number of suicides continues to rise. Perhaps in a people industry when h peoplego away so does the feeling of belonging. Being a flight asttendant and indeed a pilot can and is a very lonely lifestyle. not all beer and skittles..not too many skittles anyway. away for extended periods of time whilst family and friends are still at home. ther are very large numbers of female crew at qantas on long tgerm antidepressants. God knows the long term effect of that. Add to that the very tense industrial environment we now face and is it any wonder crew are depressed? Is it worth the bonus geoff? it is to him and his because unlike some managers that were dicarded along the way this curernt crop do NOT care about anything other than their bonus. stay safe folks. BRING BACK LYNN STanbridge...she cared
Yes, indeed, very important, get help if you feel your life is not bringing what you are hoping for, or what you feel you need.
I strongly believe many people are scared. The step you need to take, the fear of getting help is still big for many people. A "depression" is in many cases still not accepted as a normal medical problem that needs to be treated. It is usually called a "weakness" of yourself, you, weak person, who can't deal with the problems you're confronted with.
Many people tend to blame themselves, their personality, believing that they, the PERSON they are, cannot live anymore in the world they are living in. I've had a friend who had the same problems, fortunately other friends could make her to take the step and get help. In the end she told me, at first, there's one important lesson to learn: who you are, is most of the time NOT the problem, the problem is usually how you interact with the environment. And by changing the way you interact with the environment, you can achieve a lot. Some problems simply dissapear this way...
Well having tried and thankfully failed it's so so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that taking your own life is the only way out.
Asking for help isn't a sign that you have failed in any way in fact its shows that there is a inner strength and you want to move on. We all need some pointers in life that can help us find our way through the maze of life.
Working as crew with the disjoined life style that can develop itís possible that a low situation appears far worse. When you start to feel like you are losing touch with the world and itís becoming bleak, call for help, itís really not that difficult.
Such a sad thing!!!! I just feel so sorry for the people doing this to themselves!!!!! My family and i moved state a few years ago to our current position and i just got off the phone to a "friend" that i haven't spoken to in a long time to find out that a good family friend committed suicide not very long ago, alone in his shed, : ( The part that i find hard to think about, is that they do this alone without anyone being able to help them as they never spoke out to get help!!!!!!
This is something "wannabees" do not consider enough when they "dream" about becoming cabin crew. Often during interviews, recruiters ask you "do you think you could get use to the lifestyle? Not seeing your friends, your family when you want, missing Xmas, birthdays, family holidays etc.?" ... and of course we all say YES because we want to wear that faaab uniform... yeah right!
True we work as a team and we smile, but that doesn't mean we are happy. We sometime feel like we are part of a big family, but we often miss on building our own due to the nature of our job. Most of the time we don't even work twice with the same person and ironically all we get to take home at the end of a trip is the crew food if we're un/lucky!
We look smart in our nice uniforms and we go to posh hotels and destinations... but back home, when the make-up is off and the bills are there to pay, we are simply humans... and often alone... Not nice having to wake-up at 2am, when everybody just returned from parties and clubs, coz' we've got an early... it seems the world belongs to others
Despite all this, we like flying, we put our heart into this because we are dedicated in what we do, we enjoy caring for others and besides, we struggle to imagine ourselves in an office... the real world... the routine... we keep asking ourselves what life would be if we worked 9 to 5... would we be fulfilled? Could it be that we are scared of moving on? Does doing this job represent our weakness or our strenght after all?
I'm still trying to work this out... Thankfully I have solid beliefs (wisdom due to my old age I guess ) and a bunch of people who think I'm worth it... but I can imagine how hard it can be for others... Sometime we are just a staff number...
I seldom turned to colleagues to discuss my problems and address personal issues: it's difficult to make real friends amongst the crew coz' too many like to join "galley FM"... and honestly not many really care! Once you're off the aircraft and out of sight, you're gone! Ah yeah: you've got a drop file eventually... and a mobile number most will never call. If you go clubbing on Tuesday night they're all out there at the bar, keen on telling the world "I'm cabin crew"... They play the role... they get pissed... what a life... I'm not going. (somehow I'm pretty sure it's the same both in Brisbane and Gatwick).
I tend to agree with some of the comments that have been made in this post: airlines are saving money on crew and cutting too many edges to obtain what they want. CREW CARE is a very important part of an airline and it is a department that should be PROTECTED as it is a right. Unfortunately managers of many airlines (especially the budget ones...) do not even know what I'm talking about.
How much is YOUR life worth? A phone call away or another expense cut away?
Yes it's true, not many 'wannabes' think about this darker side of the job. I also wonder if the airlines stress it enough - it's one thing to say 'can you do without seeing your family all the time' (to which most young people would say 'heck yes!' ) and saying 'can you deal with working long hours, watching your friends go clubbing/to a party/ out while you go to bed early, go to work then spend the night in some distant port on your own?'
A bit dramatic maybe but it would get the point across. Those that could deal with it would say so, and it might give pause to the ones who are trying for the job because of the 'glamour'.
I am curious if, like in high school, airlines employ someone to be a 'guidance counsellor' - that crew who are having problems can talk to and get advice from someone who understands, and is not their supervisor.... I think it would be a good resource for those who might be frightened to say anything for fear of repercussions on their employment/ records.
This is a very sad fact that has effected me personally. A very dear friend of mine took her own life after getting through the medical and security stage of the last major QF recruitment drive. No fault of QF but it was the last straw for her. This I believe has a lot to do with the LAW, not allowing companies to give feedback because you never know where you went wrong. All her life she dedicated herself to be a flight attendant, from training courses, hotel work and the list goes on. She applied to every airline possible but no matter what we said to her nothing would deter her from her dream of becoming a flight attendant. It certainly didnt help that our group of friends actually became cabin crew and with her dream airline Qantas.
On the upside Qantas have whats called the Employee Assistance Program EAP. This is an external service where you or any member of your family can visit a professional to discuss any issue you like, be it fear of flying (and dont think for a minute some flight attendants dont have this fear especially after a nasty in-air experience) to your husband, wife or partner leaving you and the list goes on. Being an external professional what ever you discuss is NEVER passed onto the airline and its free. All you need to do is speak to your manager and supervisor and all the arrangements are made.
As stephenj points out antidepressants are widely used by many QF crew and it certainly doesnt help when management keeps you in the dark and you dont really know if you will have a job in 5 years time. But as long the senior excutives get their bonus thats all that really matters though RIGHT!!
We have something similar as QFs EAP, ours is staffed by cabin crew who have been given counselling training. It's a 24 hour service with a Freephone number in the UK. If you're calling from overseas you can claim back the cost of the call from BA.
I am amazed by what I am reading. I have been flying for nearly 7 years, and yes the job can be lonely, but can the job and the lifestyle get to someone that much?
I have worked for a couple of big airlines by UK standards, but never big enough that people never got to know people, and so on, could this be a big factor? Or are they the kind of people that coud have done this anyway.
Whatever, its pretty chilling to read how common such a sad even is, and can tea and coffee be the reason beind it? Or because a dream becomes such an addictions that everything else slips on by.
I guess I am very ucky to have always had a supportive family, and great group of friends, some from, and many not related to the industry.