Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health Launches Virtual Webinar Series to Help Manage Stress and Anxiety Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

Heads Up: Coping Through COVID-19

Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the largest member of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH), which delivers care for a population of over 1.9 million people across Northern New England, is launching a mental health webinar series in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The six-part series, which launches Wednesday, April 22, at noon EST with a webinar for parents of children ranging from infancy through sixth grade, will streamlive each Wednesday on the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Facebook page. The series of webinars will feature D-H experts discussing the challenges and concerns brought about by the pandemic and social isolation, and offer information, tips and techniques for coping and maintaining health and wellness in this trying time.

"Heads Up: Coping Through COVID-19" will cover topics relevant to parents who may be working from home while homeschooling children, high school and college students who are learning online and isolated from friends, adults experiencing anxiety or who struggle with mental illness, health care workers and first responders, and seniors and those who care for them.

The complete "Heads Up: Coping Through COVID-19" lineup is:

  1. Wednesday, April 22, 12 Noon EST: Focus on Parents of Infants Through Sixth Graders - featuring Erin Barnett, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine, and Caroline Christie, MSW, Clinical Social Worker, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Intensive Care Nursery (ICN), who will address school, family, and the additional challenges faced by new parents during this time;
  2. Wednesday, April 29, 12 Noon EST: Focus on Parents of Seventh Graders Through College-Age – featuring pediatrician Kimberly Gifford, MD, and Susan Pullen, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, who will address how to talk about COVID-19 and social distancing, school, and mental wellbeing with older children;
  3. Wednesday, May 6, 12 Noon EST: Focus on High School Students - featuring John Broderick, Senior Director of Public Affairs at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and former New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice, and a panel of high school students, who will address the importance of social distancing, mental health, and staying connected to friends, classmates and teammates;
  4. Wednesday, May 13, 12 Noon EST: Focus on Health Care Workers and First Responders - featuring Stephen Cole, PhD, Manager, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Employee Assistance Program, who will address managing stress, protecting yourself and loved ones, and mental wellbeing;
  5. Wednesday, May 20, 12 Noon EST: Focus on Adults, Navigating Stress and Mental Wellbeing – featuring Robert Brady, PhD, Director of Anxiety Disorders Service, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, William Torrey, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine, and Ken Norton, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness, New Hampshire (NAMI NH), who will address managing mental health, staying informed, and staying connected and productive;
  6. Wednesday, May 27, 12 Noon EST: Focus on Seniors – panelists to be announced, who will address managing anxiety surrounding the pandemic and staying connected to loved ones.

Attendees are invited to submit questions for the experts prior to each webinar at social@hitchcock.org, and questions can also be asked on the D-H Facebook page during each live stream. Each webinar will be archived on the D-H Facebook page and available on the D-H YouTube channel for later viewing.

"In this time of heightened anxiety, Dartmouth-Hitchcock is pleased to be able to bring valuable information and support to help people across the region deal with the emotional aspects of this crisis,” said Joanne M. Conroy, M.D., CEO and President of Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health. "The topics covered in the ‘Heads Up’ series are relevant and timely, and we hope people of all ages will find the information presented by our experts both beneficial and comforting."

The series is inspired by D-HH's R.E.A.C.T mental health awareness campaign, a program featuring D-HH Senior Director of External Affairs and former New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick, who presents a powerful public awareness campaign around the steps people can take when they recognize that they or someone they care about is experiencing mental health challenges, and to date has spoken to over 100,000 students throughout New Hampshire and Vermont.

"Our lives have changed dramatically in a very short period of time, and many are experiencing feelings of stress, anxiety, uncertainty and fear," said Broderick. "We believe it is absolutely critical to offer people of all ages good advice and information to help them cope with the very real strain of this crisis."

For more information about the "Heads Up: Coping Through COVID-19" mental health webinar series, please visit https://go.d-h.org/headsup.

About Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-H Health) is a non-profit academic health system primarily serving New Hampshire and Vermont as well as patients from across New England. As the largest health care system and employer in New Hampshire, D-H Health is an integrated health care delivery network of providers and member organizations with the same commitment to provide the highest quality of care to the nearly 2 million community members we serve throughout the region.