Monday May 20, 2013
To All Piedmont Flight Attendants from your EAP committee-
When a critical incident occurs to our flying partners on an aircraft in the line of duty, we may experience emotional reactions. It is important for us to be aware of this and take special care of ourselves. If you are experiencing any undo emotional stress, please contact your EAP Representative Pam Johns at 813-380-7296 or the International AFA EAP office at 1-800-424-2406.
MANAGING YOUR STRESS AND COPING EFFECTIVELY
Flight attendants are like a large family. When something happens to our flying partners on an aircraft in the line of duty, we all experience strong reactions.
We may think, “That could have been me.” We may also think about dying – but more often we wonder how well we would have performed our job as the safety professional on board.
We may question ourselves and our choice of careers. These doubts may be echoed by concerns of families and non-airline friends over our career choice.
These reactions are normal.
You may also feel angry. Sometimes we don’t know how to express our hurt, fears and pain, and anger is what comes out. Our friends and family may end up being the recipients of our frustration.
Try to communicate your thoughts and feelings about the incident as often as you need to. Find people who are good listeners and talk to them. Remember your AFA EAP representatives are always available. Many of your flying partners can relate to what you are feeling because they have been involved in critical incidents too.
Your children – depending on their ages – will have varying reactions to aircraft accidents.
Reassure them that mommy or daddy is fine when they question you or see any TV coverage.
Talk with them about what happened if they are of reasoning age. Don’t keep them “in the dark” in an attempt to shelter them from reality – no matter how painful and unpleasant. The truth is always more helpful.
All of the areas of your life overlap and influence one another – personal, professional, family, etc. The impact of a critical incident can intensify whatever else is going on in your life. So it is important to be aware of that and take special care of yourselves. We do that by learning what best works to alleviate some of the stress in our lives.
Be Well and Fly Safe,
MEC Employee Assistance Program, Professional Standards and Critical Response Chair
International AFA EAP Office