Navigation Links
A Much-Needed Hero for Troubled Times
Date:1/16/2009

Pilot's action in landing jet in NYC waters and saving lives should inspire those dealing with their own struggles, experts say

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- When the "Miracle on the Hudson" pilot eased his crippled jetliner into the frigid waters off New York City on Thursday, he did much more than save the lives of 155 people on board.

US Airways Capt. Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III gave the battered American psyche a much-needed boost amid wave after wave of unnerving news -- from the unraveling financial system, soaring unemployment and record home foreclosures, to the ever-present threat of terrorism and the reality of war, mental health experts say.

"The country always needs role models who perform heroic acts -- it boosts people's sense of humanity. It gives people confidence that there are truly selfless and competent people out there," said Alan Hilfer, director of psychology at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City.

Heroic acts like Sullenberger's also reinforce the sense that some things can go right when so many things are going wrong, Hilfer added.

"At the moment, that is especially necessary," he said. "Individual acts of heroism or professionalism inspire people to be able to recognize that there are well-trained, knowledgeable people whom we can depend upon."

Hilfer added that people need heroes to inspire and to distract them, especially during tough times.

The crash landing of Flight 1549 came after the pilot took off from La Guardia Airport and reportedly hit a flock of birds, which left both engines without power. Sullenberger then deliberately turned the plane over the Hudson River and landed it in the water. After passengers exited to water ferries standing by, according to news reports, the captain walked through his plane twice to make sure everyone was out.

James E. Maddux, a professor of psychology at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., thinks people who tend to be optimistic will be inspired by Sullenberger's heroism, while those who are less optimistic probably won't.

"It is probably incorrect to say that an event like this is universally uplifting in the same amount for everyone," he said. "Happier people are the people who tend to take this kind of information and pull some meaning out of it."

More optimistic people are also people who think that, even though uncontrollable events happen, someone with knowledge, experience, skill and a steady hand can seize control of seemingly uncontrollable circumstances, Maddux said.

"People who tend to be more pessimistic will pass it [Sullenberger's actions] off as dumb luck," Maddux said. "They may just miss it and say: 'This shows how dangerous flying is.'"

Maddux sees an analogy between the pilot's heroism and the hope many Americans have for President-elect Barack Obama.

"This pilot with experience and knowledge and steady nerves, seizing control of what was a situation beyond anyone's control to prevent, was able to bring it to a safe, happy end," he said. "That is similar to the way that many people have come to view Barack Obama -- as a person with intelligence and knowledge and steady nerves and a steady hand."

But Maddux added that the emotional boost provided by Sullenberger will probably be fleeting.

"It's a single event. It's the kind of event that even if it provides an uplift, it's probably going to be temporary, because then other things take over the headlines," he said. "These kinds of things become quickly forgotten."

Sullenberger, 57, was perfectly suited for a hero's role. A one-time Air Force fighter pilot, he's one of the nation's leading aviation safety experts -- and a certified glider pilot.

More information

For insights on coping with challenging times, visit Mental Health America.



SOURCES: James E. Maddux, Ph.D., professor of psychology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.; Alan Hilfer, Ph.D., director of psychology, Maimonides Medical Center, New York City


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. MSU doctors bring much-needed psychiatric care to rural areas via technology
2. Suicide Prevention Group Delivers Much-Needed Message to Pennsylvanias Elderly
3. Novel discovery by Einstein scientists could lead to much-needed kidney failure treatment
4. Acne And Rosacea Getting You Down? Laser, Light And Cosmetic Treatments Give Patients A Much-Needed Boost
5. Troubled girls from poor neighborhoods more likely to have sex in early adolescence
6. Troubled children hurt peers test scores, behavior
7. Troubled Boys Will Abandon Pot When Its Deemed Uncool
8. The Ensign Group Successfully Graduates Troubled Nursing Home from CMS Special Focus Facility Program
9. APHA Deeply Troubled by Bush Veto of CHIP
10. Sleepless Kids Are Troubled Kids
11. Americans Continue Eating Nutritious and Convenient Snacks Despite Tough Economic Times
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
A Much-Needed Hero for Troubled Times
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out ... family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers ... would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas ... , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils and honing ... contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic counselor by ... Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. , In ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® & Innovative Solutions ... initiated cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and opened its first ... is the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air and surface purification ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Venture Construction Group (VCG) sponsors Luke’s Wings ... at the Woodmont Country Club at 1201 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852. The ... members that have been wounded in battle and their families. Venture Construction Group is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   ... Spaulding Rehabilitation Network,s Dean Center for Tick ... Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University ... for Innovation, today announced the five finalists of ... for Lyme disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. ... which develops, markets and sells medical devices and wearable ... signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Hongyuan Supply Chain ... Chain") on June 20, 2016, to develop Dehaier,s new ... cooperation agreement, Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan Supply Chain,s sales ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, ... pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that ... Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," ... will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in developing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: