Mental health and the older adult population discussed in latest Heads Up Dartmouth Health webinar

Mental health and the older adult population

Webinar is the eighth in a year-long monthly series on mental health awareness.

Dartmouth Health has published the latest webinar in its series, Heads Up: A Year-Long Mental Health Awareness Journey. This month, expert panelists discuss the topic "mental health and our older adult population." The video can be viewed at the Dartmouth Health YouTube page.

This segment features Courtney Stevens, Ph.D., MA, a licensed clinical psychologist at Dartmouth Health and assistant professor of psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Ed Mahoney, Ph.D., a licensed psychotherapist with Bedford Counseling, an educator with the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester, and co-founder of Storytelling: Remembering Together, and Phyllis Whitney, a patient family advisor for Dartmouth Health who shared her personal experiences as an older adult. Together, they explore the factors that create barriers to good mental health for older adults, and best practices to help lower those barriers, such as isolation, which can lead to depression and other mental health concerns. The webinar series is moderated by Dartmouth Health Senior Media Relations Manager Audra Burns.

Stevens said many older adults, as significant life circumstances change, are at risk of falling into routines that disconnect them from the things that are important to them, which will likely result in depression.

"We know that, according to the CDC, one in five adults over the age of 55 has some kind of mental health concern," Stevens said. "And depression is the most prevalent mental health concern that we see in this older adult population."

The panel also explores how accumulating loss can result in unprocessed grief, the risks of increased isolation among older adults, particularly during the holiday season, and some ways older adults can start healthier habits and how loved ones can be more proactive in helping.

In partnership with the New Hampshire Union Leader and the Seacoast Media Group, The Heads Up series is a mental health awareness campaign that provides online resources, offers fresh perspectives and highlights community events on mental health-related topics.

To learn more about the Heads Up Series, resources on mental health or to view past newspaper feature articles and webinars, visit our Mental Health web page.

About Dartmouth Health

Dartmouth Health, New Hampshire's only academic health system and the state's largest private employer, serves patients across northern New England. Dartmouth Health provides access to more than 2,000 providers in almost every area of medicine, delivering care at its flagship hospital, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH, as well as across its wide network of hospitals, clinics and care facilities. DHMC is consistently named the #1 hospital in New Hampshire by U.S. News & World Report, and recognized for high performance in numerous clinical specialties and procedures. Dartmouth Health includes Dartmouth Cancer Center, one of only 56 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation, and the only such center in northern New England; Dartmouth Health Children’s, which includes Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the state’s only children’s hospital, and multiple clinic locations around the region; member hospitals in Lebanon, Keene and New London, NH, and Bennington and Windsor, VT; Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and more than 24 clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. Through its historical partnership with Dartmouth and the Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth Health trains nearly 400 medical residents and fellows annually, and performs cutting-edge research and clinical trials recognized across the globe with Geisel and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT. Dartmouth Health and its more than 13,000 employees are deeply committed to serving the healthcare needs of everyone in our communities, and to providing each of our patients with exceptional, personal care.