Mental health and older adults discussed in latest Heads Up webinar

LEBANON – 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. 

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