June 8, 2020

HOUSTON – The pandemic is taking a toll on our mental health.

Healthcare workers and first responders are also learning to cope as well, which is why a Houston neuro therapist and clinical researcher is stepping in to alleviate some of that stress.

“I mean every time we go on a run, we know it has (the) potential to take us out of our ability to provide for our families. I mean that’s traumatizing in itself, especially that we know there’s a lot of people out there that’s out of work,” said Dr. Ronald Swatzyna, director and chief scientist at Houston Neuroscience Brain Center.

Swatzyna runs the Houston Neuroscience Brain Center. He’s also a retired firefighter who has served time in Vietnam and with Operation Desert Storm. He knows first-hand the stress frontline workers are currently under.

“I think it’s a perfect opportunity for me to say I’ve been where you are and I understand these challenges you’re having,” Swatzyna said.

The neuro therapist and clinical researcher is offering his services free of charge to first responders.

Swatzyna is doing 30-minute Zoom sessions with any frontline worker who wants to talk and mentally decompress. They just need to reach out to his office and identify themselves as a nurse, doctor, firefighter, EMT, police officer, etc. by clicking the link here.

“We know that a good number of first responders that are getting the coronavirus and so that stress in itself,” he said.

Swatzyna said you don’t have to be a frontline worker to take charge of your mental health.

He suggests starting with these three things: Sleeping, exercising and eating healthy meals.

“We’re going to get through this and be even stronger on the other side,” he said. “I just want to make it as easy as possible for the ones out there busting their butts every day because they’re doing a great job for us.” he said.

Texans can also call the COVID-19 Mental Health Hotline if they need help with anxiety or stress at 833-986-1919.

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