SINGAPORE: Psychology clinicians have reported an uptick in people expressing a fear of flying, following the Singapore Airlines SQ321 incident last month that saw one death and numerous serious injuries due to severe turbulence.

This rising trend in aerophobia appears to be connected to the heightened public anxiety after the incident, which involved significant media coverage and widespread discussion.

Following the deadly turbulence on board SQ321, Qatar Airlines and Turkish Airlines flights also encountered severe turbulence, badly injuring several people though no lives were lost.

In interviews with 8World, multiple doctors reportedly noted that more individuals are seeking professional help to address their flying anxieties. Some clinics said they would see one consultation every few months, but now they receive at least two consultations a day.

The increased fear of flying comes despite reassuring statistics from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Their recent report highlighted that last year was the safest year in aviation history, with only one fatal accident per 37 million flights.

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However, these statistics provide little comfort to those now struggling with intensified phobias.

To address these fears, psychotherapists are employing various techniques, including conversation and art therapy, aimed at helping clients manage and overcome their anxieties.

A lead therapist at one mental health clinic stressed the importance of supportive listening. “Being there for them and understanding how the incident has impacted them is crucial. If their fear is significantly affecting their daily life, suggesting professional mental health support is beneficial,” the therapist told 8World.

As the aviation industry continues to prioritize safety, mental health professionals are increasingly focusing on the psychological aspects of flying, helping individuals regain confidence in air travel.

TISG/