Following the recent tragic crash of the Germanwings plane in the French Alps this week the media has been abuzz with ‘who, how and why’.
The horrifying news of this tragedy makes me think about the incalculable value of a life, the lives of all the people on board the fated plane and the enduring lives of the people left behind.
It is with this sentiment that I choke as I read the appalling reports by tabloid newspapers reporting ‘Why was he in the air? Killer pilot suffered depression.’ It’s not just the tabloids Cosmopolitan UK joined in: ‘does depression make you a killer?’
These headlines and these false conclusions are staggering in today’s society. The level of stigma demonstrated here is pretty disgusting in my opinion.
It is without a shadow of a doubt absolutely horrifying and heart breaking that this one man perhaps chose to end his life along with a plane full of passengers but his life and these reports, in my opinion, need to be treated extremely sensitively.
Everyday professionals and members of the public, like me, enter into campaigns to end the stigma around mental health and encourage discussion but this can be destroyed within the first 6 lines of an article published in a big British publication.
It is not just the destruction of progress here that causes concern for me it is the total disregard for actual facts. Depression is a mental health illness that needs treatment, it doesn’t need more stigmatisation and it does not need to be associated with the word ‘killer.’
We don’t know the ins and outs of the tragedy that unfolded this week but we do know that there are 150 people dead and even more 100’s of people in mourning, including Lubitz family.
People will want answers and people will want to blame someone or something that is part of human nature and part of the grieving process. There of course needs to be investigations into the events that lead to this tragedy and we need to learn how to prevent this. We don’t need to stop people with any mental health conditions working or flying; we need to help before it gets to crisis point.
Mental health would have played a big part in Andreas Lubitz life but this case needs to be addressed individually and not generalised or stigmatised.
Treatment and recovery from depression can start with a conversation, so let’s talk.
*Please note this is a blog by Kayleigh Glinn and not necessarily the views of Chrysalis Not for Profit Ltd.