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June 13, 2016
APFA Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – LAA/LUS
As you know, early yesterday morning a mass shooting occurred in an Orlando Nightclub. Although we now know that our colleagues and crews are safe, many of us may have family or friends who have been affected by this horrendous act of violence. Such tragic events can trigger certain psychological and emotional responses, or even deeper reactions such as grief.
Grief is a common emotional reaction to a significant loss and it isn’t necessarily exclusive to the loss of close friends or family members. Grieving is a very personal experience that is determined by the nature of the loss as well as the personality of the individual experiencing it. One person’s way of grieving may be completely different than another’s so it is important not to make judgements about yourself or others during this deeply subjective process. Another thing to remember is that there is no standard or “normal” period of time that a person is expected to grieve. It is done in your own way, and in your own time.
During the grieving process, you may experience a very wide range of feelings and symptoms. It is not uncommon to be feeling shock, numbness, sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety, or fear one moment; and then, relief, peace, or even happiness in another. Despite these varying degrees of intense emotion, you may also have milder symptoms that you might not immediately relate to the grieving process. Depression, sadness, or “the blues” are other common emotions that could manifest.
In addition to the psychological factors of grief, the stress created by this process may also take a physical toll on your body. You may experience sleeplessness, which is most common, and over time you could develop a weakened immune system that can worsen your condition if you already have a chronic illness.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, having difficulty functioning at work or home, or if you have a family member experiencing difficulties, please know that there is help and YOU ARE NOT ALONE. The APFA Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Peer Support Volunteers & the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) is available for confidential help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are well trained and we specialize in providing you with the resources you need to address your mental health concerns.
As Flight Attendants, we understand the profession and related stressors that may contribute to your issues. Our goal is to promote your well-being by providing a safe place for you to find the right community resources to get you the help you need.
For CONFIDENTIAL ASSISTANCE 24/7 call: (800) 998-8194. You may also reach our office by calling (817) 540-0108 ext. 8701 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org (all voice mail messages will remain confidential and calls are promptly returned).
APFA National EAP Specialist