PilotsTogether has launched a text-based crisis service for pilots, staffed by volunteers, to text in if they are struggling to cope with mental health pressures relating to the ongoing disruption facing the airline industry. Pilots, regardless of employment status, can now text WePilots to 85258 and they will be put in touch with a trained volunteer by text who will support and guide them as required.
The service will be provided in partnership with Shout 85258, a 24/7 UK text messaging service for times when people feel they need immediate support. Shout was established in May 2019 and, since then, has had over 3/4 of a million text conversations with individuals in crisis. The service is available 24/7, 365 days a year, and is free to those that need it at the point of use.
Pilots can text WePilots to 85258 to find professional, independent, and anonymous support on a range of wellbeing issues that are often taboo or stigmatised in the profession. These include anxiety, depression, loneliness, and abuse – issues that many are facing during throughout the Covid-19 crisis.
According to Scott Bateman, Chairman, PilotsTogether:
“The impacts of the Covid-19 are going to be with us for some time. Pilots, including those currently flying, those on furlough, and those who have been made redundant, continue to be affected increased pressures through this challenging chapter.
The #WePilots text service is a powerful way we can help our community as they navigate through this uncertain chapter.”
Katy Lee, Trustee and Wellbeing Lead, PilotsTogether, says:
“The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a spike in mental health issues in Great Britain, with approximately 21% of adults suffering from some form of depression [link]. Despite the stigma that still persists in the industry, pilots are suffering too.
I’m so excited to launch this new service that will connect members of our community in need with the guidance they need. Nobody should feel ashamed to ask for help and texting WePilots to 85258 is a fantastic first step.”