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What are some common ways to care for astronauts' mental health?


Uploaded on October 25, 2022


What are some common ways to care for astronauts' mental health?

2022-10-25 – European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti covers a few of the many ways astronauts can use to care for their mental health during a space mission.

Samantha answered a series of questions related to mental health while aboard the International Space Station in support of the CSA’s Space Brain Hack. (Credits: Canadian Space Agency, NASA, European Space Agency)


A way of caring for one’s mental health and, of course, that of the others as well is to maintain a positive atmosphere on the Space Station, and that involves sharing fun moments of relaxing together, sharing meals, watching movies together.

We’re, you know, just spending time either as a crew or just one on one, showing interest in each other, checking in with each other, making sure that we are there to support a crewmate that maybe is having a bad day or a bad week, and that’s really important.

And, you know, also reaching out if we are the ones who are having a bad day or a bad week and not, you know, being afraid of speaking up if we are the ones who need help and comfort.

We are obviously in touch with our loved ones, with our families.

We have an opportunity of speaking to them on the phone on a daily basis, and once a week, our psychological support team organizes a two-way videoconference for about an hour in which we can actually see each other.

Our family can see us and we can see them and, you know, experiencing a little bit the life of the family from far away.

We get crew care packages when a vehicle comes up, and sometimes those are things that we have asked for.

It can be a favourite food or candy, but it can also be, I don’t know, a special shirt or some special toy or, you know, anything that is meaningful to us, and many times it’s things that we don’t know about that come up as surprises.

These care packages are certainly a very welcomed opportunity to receive items that make us feel loved and connected to our family and friends.


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