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Anyone who has ever had any responsibility San Diego United States for managing very competitive and focused people knows that individuals can be very good at hiding their problems till the inevitable breakdown happens. That’s one good reason for not owning San Diego United States a firearm – 61 per cent of US gun deaths are suicides. That statistic may have changed in October 2017 with the insane slaughter in San Diego United States, where an apparently San Diego United States normal middle-aged guy cut loose with automatic weapons to kill at least fifty-eight people and wound hundreds of others, an event that (for him) ended in suicide.

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Mass murder/suicide by plane happens, as we all know from the story of Germanwings Flight 2525. The co-pilot locked the captain, Patrick Sondenheimer, out of the cockpit. Then, without saying anything, responding to queries from air traffic control or leaving a suicide note, he calmly crashed a perfectly functioning Airbus A320 into the Massif des Trois Évêchés in the Provence Alps. In all, 150 people, including a number of schoolchildren, perished on that plane. When investigators listened to the playback from the cockpit voice recorder that survived the crash, the copilot could be heard breathing steadily as Sondenheimer shouted and tried to break down the door. Most airlines now mandate that there must be at least two people, including one pilot, up front at all times, though the Calloway example illustrates how even that could go badly wrong.

Delusional and crazy, Calloway clearly planned what he did. But was that true of the Germanwings co-pilot, though he was psychiatrically fragile and succeeded in concealing his condition from the airline? There’s been a lot of soul searching on the part of carriers as they try to develop fail-safe mechanisms to ensure that such events never happen. And, just as the change in global culture that has given us locked cockpit doors has caused most to be more aware of any odd behaviour on the part of the person sitting next to us, whether on a plane, a train or a bus, it’s also important that each and every one of us develops much better antennae for detecting changes in the mental health of those we know well, especially if they are in jobs where an acute psychiatric crisis could endanger others.

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