Normal routine encouraged

Family and friends affected by the Pike River mine explosion should try to keep to a normal routine despite riding an "emotional roller coaster", a counsellor involved with the Beaconsfield Mine disaster says.

The Tasmanian gold mine collapsed four years ago, resulting in the death of one miner and the rescue of two workers who were trapped for a fortnight underground.

Social worker Deb Klye was involved in counselling mine staff and families before, during and after the April 25, 2006, rockfall, and said waiting for news was an "emotional roller coaster that cannot really be described".

"Each tiny new fact brings a new emotional ride for those waiting."

For those affected it would be difficult to stay emotionally and psychologically grounded, which was why sticking to a normal routine was important, Ms Klye said.

"Friends and family are most valuable resources at times like these.

"Not everyone needs or wants professional support."

As a general rule she would advise those waiting to try to get regular sleep and meals, and eat as much fresh fruit and vegetables as possible while avoiding alcohol or cigarettes.

She recommended those waiting for news to surround themselves with people who made them feel better and would offer them support.

"Stick to thinking about the facts as they are presented if you can.

"Try to avoid assuming either the best or the worst."

Those offering support should also "stick to facts as they are known", encourage normal rest time and meals, and be there to listen.

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