Symbiotics have recently closed responses on their aviation industry questionnaire targeted at gathering insight and opinion around the new
EASA Regulations into psychological testing of Pilots. This survey has provided some useful yet concerning information about the readiness
of the aviation industry to comply with the new rules that come into force July 2020.
Of the European Pilot respondents, only 10% are very / extremely familiar with the amendments as opposed to 45% who have no familiarity at
all. Only 17% of survey respondents' employers have solutions or psychological assessments in place already, demonstrating a serious lack
of readiness for the mandatory evaluations.
It is clear that mental health is a growing issue, in aviation as it is across all industries: statistics from the mental health Charity,
Mind suggest that globally 1 in 4 adults will experience at least one mental health condition in any one year, and that at any particular
time 1 in 6 adults are experiencing a mental health condition; that is around 450 million people globally.
Given the accepted mental ill-health figures and FAA Pilot recruitment statistics, this means that approximately 114,000 Pilots could be
experiencing a mental health condition at this moment. This is made even more relevant with the recent Beechcraft B200 Super King Air crash
in Botswana where the Pilot crashed the airplane into a club house at Matsieng Air Strip, appearing to be suffering from a mental health condition.
The results of Symbiotics' recent aviation questionnaire highlight the concerns about the new regulations and ensuing industry updates,
but also the stigma that is still attached around the issue of mental health. 36% of survey respondents said that they, or someone they
knew well, has experienced a mental health condition within the last five years, but 43% of respondents chose not to respond to the question
despite 'no' being an option. This suggests a greater issue still, with a lack of openness on the subject holding back the willingness for
conversations around mental ill-health to take place.
With only 5% of Symbiotics survey respondents who had experience of mental ill-health informing their employer, this brings to light the serious
risk that could still be present and why, perhaps, assessment just at recruitment is not enough. Further to this, 19% of those who had experience
of mental ill-health received no support to help them recover.
Symbiotics offer Mindfull, a mental wellbeing risk assessment solution, that includes MindQ assessment from MHS Assessment, which assesses and
tracks an individual's mental state and provides insights into changes and sign posting for support. When used at the recommended 2-3 times annually,
this allows for early intervention, when mental health concerns are highlighted as a risk or the individual can be seen to be on a downward trajectory.
To find out more about Symbiotics' mental wellbeing assessment solutions please get in touch.