Virgin Australia New Zealand (VANZ) and global insurance group XL Catlin have endorsed the work of NZALPA’s Peer Assistance Network (PAN).
Catlin, the underwriters for NZALPA’s Group Disability Insurance, is a benefactor of the programme, while VANZ joins Jetconnect and Air New Zealand as a key stakeholder – a commitment that involves financial support of the research and resources for the operation and promotion of PAN.
“We’re thrilled to have VANZ become a key part of the peer assistance community,” NZALPA Medical and Welfare Director Andy Pender said.
“The greater the participation from our employers, the more protected and supported our pilots are.
“The backing from Catlin also shows that they see the long-term value in aviation professionals having access to a relevant and robust peer-to-peer support network.
“Evidently, they understand that the support our peer support volunteers provide decreases the risk factors that would otherwise see them making an insurance claim.”
The network of industry support for PAN is growing, with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) demonstrating their support through a letter of endorsement in June.
The PAN committee is currently engaging with Airways, Jetstar and numerous flight training organisations to recruit more participants. To encourage participation, NZALPA is offering a joining fee discount to flight schools.
“Having the safety net of PAN to turn to in times of strife provides our colleagues at any stage of their aviation career with a pathway to wellness when they are suffering the side effects of stress, anxiety or depression.
“The PAN support blows away the fog, strengthens the safety net, and is an essential part of any aviation safety system. It’s encouraging to see some of our employers, our regulator, and now the insurance industry understand the benefits of having this programme available to all pilots and air traffic controllers.
“If we can get the missing pieces of the aviation industry stakeholder base to come on board, the whole programme will benefit from a unified response to mental health.
“Ultimately, it’s about the safety and wellbeing of pilots and air traffic controllers which, of course, results in safer members of the travelling public.”