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Employee Assistance Program EAP

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Well-known member
Nov 28, 2001
I was wondering if anyone knew about EAP programs and if they are indeed absolutely confidential. Looking at circumstances surrounding a pilots career and the mental anguish that can accumulate in his/her day to day life things like EAP would be really important. I was reading an article about mental anguish and severe clinical depression and I personally know many pilots who fall into this category, however most if not all would be very reluctant to seek professional help. Anything even remotely close to resembling a mental condition is to be avoided at all costs in most pilots mind, yet I truly believe that many pilots, especially in an environment that's incredibly hostile toward's the profession could use a hand in dealing with it.

A pilot's life can be very abnormal, I can't speak for everyone, but just in my few years as a professional aviator it seems that many pilots seem to be very socially disfunctional. Yeah there are a few who have the good ol' American family, wife and kids, nice home, nice neighbor and everything else that goes along with it. But I rarely see that. I know many pilots. I see alot of divorced pilots. Furloughed pilots. Disgruntled pilots. I mean what the hell do you tell a USAir pilot who has seniority from 1989 who is now on the street with a mortgage, a kid in college, maybe even a wife and had already been furloughed for 7 years in the 90's. What should we tell him? " Hey sport! Don't worry it's always been cyclical! It'll come back around" What about the pilot's I remember who were flying for a cargo airline like Express One who just happened to be a 20+ year veteran at Eastern and 7+ years at Express One who is now on the street because FedEx swiped the Postal Contract? What do you tell them? What do you tell a pilot that went through Braniff 1,2 and 3? I remeber years ago at JFK walking in the terminal bumping into a pilot. This guy flew for Saudia, but he had lost his job at Eastern. Check this out. L1011 Captain at Saudia, living on a compound over in the desert and only able to see his family for less than one week a month because they don't want to move to Saudi Arabia ( I can't blame them) This guy had been doing this over a year. And he admits it was definately taking a toll on him. Do you guys remember the Eastern pilots who committed suicide after Eastern shut down? Do you remember? Why? Is it because flying an airplane is such a cool thing? Do you know what's sad? I'll tell you what's sad is the fact that pilots fly because they love what they do. But isn't it a shame what you have to give in exchange for that? It's almost like you have to be willing to give up your entire life. Then all this crap comes to a head. Layoffs, furloughs, divorces, downsizing, losses of money in 401k's hijackings, terrorism, war, no family, no future, companies as large as United teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Then what? Smile? I have a friend who is a Captain at AA who tells me that he can't guarantee that AA will be around 5 years from now. Will American be around in 5 years? Most likely yes. But he can't guarantee it. 3 years ago he would have bet his life on it. Do you see what I mean? This shi_t is crazy. And then pilot's have to keep it all inside and cope with it. I don't know, but if you ask me that's pretty **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED** unhealthy. Anyway, EAP a good deal or not? Your answers are much appreciated.
my 2 cents

First off I am not a yet a professional pilot but am in Law Enforcement . I know that many of my EAP units counselors are not actually Psychologists or Pyschiatrists , as such the confidentiality is not guaranteed. Also if they detect that you are suicidal or a danger to someone else they can inform the necessary authorities .In most states public health laws dictate that a person whom is a danger to himself MUST be taken to a psychiatric facility for evaluation.
If however you/ someone is in need of serious help I would recommend going to wherever you worship or attend religious services and seek out a clergy man who is also a Mental health professional . You may be better protected against confidential stuff getting out .. Whatever you/ this person do your physical / emotional health should be balanced against the repercussions I wish anyone in need of this advice/opinion the best my friend!! Chas

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