There are 33 miners who are trapped deep underground in Chile. Although lucky, in that they are still alive, by the standards of mining accidents they now face a four underground month wait until they can be brought to the surface.
Media and public interest has been running high and concern has been inevitably been raised about the psychological effect of the prolonged incarceration on the miners.
The Chilean health minister addressed this:
"We expect that after the initial euphoria of being found, we will likely see a period of depression and anguish," he told reporters. "We are preparing medication for them. It would be naive to think they can keep their spirits up like this."
As a result alongside food and clothing, the Guardian reports that antidepressants are being provided to the miners.
What, I wonder, is an appropriate mental state for a trapped miner? So far the reports from underground suggest that the miners are actually coping pretty well. They siphoned water from the radiators of their vehicles, they rationed their food. These men are seasoned miners in a dangerous job but yet it is fragility rather than resilience that is assumed for them.
It may be that antidepressants may eventually be reasonably offered in some cases, but blanket prophylaxis is surely not necessary.