Town Square

What Is The Emotional Toll Of The Pandemic On First Responders?

We focus on first responders’ mental health, including tips to help them during the pandemic and what the general public can take away to manage their own stress and anxiety.

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File
FILE – Healthcare worker Diane Alonso celebrates as a giant American flag is unfurled at Intermountain Medical Center on May 21, 2020, in Murray, Utah, as a way to honor frontline healthcare workers and recognize first responders as they care for COVID-19 patients.


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Town Square with Ernie Manouse airs at 3 p.m. CT. Tune in on 88.7FM, listen online or subscribe to the podcast. Join the discussion at 888-486-9677, or @townsquaretalk.

First responders are the ones we depend on the most. But they're also the ones we tend to overlook.

We expect them to be there for us. But we forget they have their own families and concerns.

We call them heroes, and they are – but they're also human.

What are they truly going through?

Today, we talk about the emotional toll that first responders are experiencing this year – from higher rates of depression and burn out to fears and anxiety.

Psychologists from the Houston Fire Department and Baylor College of Medicine discuss tips for addressing first responder mental health and what the general public can take away to manage their own stress.

Guests are:

Dr. Sam Buser:

Dr. Eric Storch:

  • Professor and Vice Chair of Psychology at Baylor College of Medicine

Houston Public Media reporter Matt Harab also joins Ernie with local and national headlines, including:

Town Square with Ernie Manouse is a gathering space for the community to come together and discuss the day's most important and pressing issues.

Audio from today’s show will be available after 5 p.m. CT. We also offer a free podcast here, on iTunes, and other apps.

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This article is part of the Town Square with Ernie Manouse podcast

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Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Senior Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

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