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Freedom May Come With Challenges for Chilean Miners

The 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for two months were pulled out of their predicament one by one Wednesday, and hopefully their ordeal is truly over, but Chilean officials are giving them the option of leaning on expert help if adjusting to life above ground proves difficult. –KA

ABC News:

One miner’s wife said she doubts that her husband will return to work in the mines. Other miners may feel the same way.

“There may be a fear of going back to work,” said Foa. “There’s a very realistic risk of working in the mines. Events like this one don’t happen every day, but the risk is there.”

But Al Holland, a senior operational psychologist from NASA who’s on the team advising Chilean officials on the rescue effort, said he doesn’t think the miners will feel that way, although it is possible that some will.

“There’s no reason to expect there will be any problems with work. They were trapped where they work, which is different from being trapped in an unusual situation,” said Holland.

Holland said Chilean officials are giving miners access to counseling for six months so they can deal with their issues. But Foa said counseling might not be enough.

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