"Chile's Heroic Miners"
"The survival of the 33 miners in a collapsed mine in Chile must be a disappointment to the therapy industry," writes MercatorNet editor Michael Cook in an email imtroducing the latest issue. He continues:
- A video of the men, lost 2,257 feet (688 metres) under solid rock, shows them in a surprisingly up-beat mood. They are singing the national anthem and sending optimistic notes to their loved ones above.
There's a long way to go before rescue - possibly months - but I'll bet that these men will surprise us with their resilience. The in-house psychiatrist for Fox News, claims that they "face a catastrophic risk of mental illness". "Being rescued will only be the beginning of the 'journey back' for some of these men, who will likely struggle with psychological effects of their ordeal for a lifetime," he says.
But even in humdrum daily life we all face the risk of mental disintegration. How these 33 handle the stress of isolation, hunger, danger and hardship depends upon their inner resources.
They seem to have them in spades. From what I can gather, the men have established an executive, distributed jobs, set a timetable, and organised their cramped living space. An Elvis fan will be leading singalongs.
Along with water, food, and medicine, their most senior member, 63-year-old Mario Gomez, has asked for religious statues so that he can set up a shrine where the men can pray. He wrote in a moving letter to his wife: "Dear Lila, I am well and thanks be to God I hope to get out soon. Have patience and faith. God is great and the help of God is going to help us escape with our lives."
Beating confinement, hunger, boredom and monotony will be tough. But I am sure that the faith and family ties of the miners will pull them through. I would be very surprised if they need an army of counsellors and therapists when they emerge into the sunlight.