SANTIAGO, Chile — Chilean authorities Friday launched a plan to provide psychological support for 33 copper miners trapped 2,300 feet underground in the Atacama desert.

The miners have been trapped since Aug. 5, after the shaft they were working in collapsed. On Sunday — 17 days after their shaft collapsed, just as all hope was nearly gone — they were confirmed to be alive, although getting them up to the surface is likely to take three to four months.

Experts will hold an interview with each of the miners via a video connection through a shaft with a view to establishing long-distance therapy, said Chilean Health Minister Jaime Manalich.

Manalich noted that more intense work will be required for five of the miners who appeared to be at "a greater emotional risk."

"They are more isolated, they do not want to be seen on the screen, they are not eating well, so we are now going to act directly in the case of these workers," the minister said.

The psychological support plan was launched once doctors stabilized the miners' physical condition through liquids and vitamins. Communications and food deliveries are conducted through a 4-inch-wide shaft to the room where the miners found safety.

Manalich said the 1,200 calories they are currently consuming will be increased to 2,000 calories on Sunday.

Rescue teams have told the miners that the rescue will take time and that they should be home for Christmas, so emotional support is increasingly important.

Today, rescue teams are to start drilling a 26-inch-wide vertical duct, which they estimate will reach the miners in three to four months.

Over this period, the U.S. space agency NASA will assist Chilean authorities in providing state-of-the-art synthetic food and support for people living in isolated small spaces, similar to astronauts in Earth's orbit.

Video footage of the trapped workers has now gone round the world, showing them singing the Chilean national anthem and commenting on their situation.

"Here we are pretty well organized for everything. Here we have a set of dominoes. This is the place where we entertain ourselves. Everyday we hold a meeting and we plan. Here is where we pray," one miner says in the video. The video shows the dominoes, stored with other games in the safety cavern, splayed out on a table.

In the 45-minute video, the miners sent their families their greetings and showed how they made their beds, divided up space and took turns for tasks including watching over the food supply.