Heads Up: Coping Through COVID-19: April 22 to June 11, 2020

The Dartmouth Health mental health webinar series from spring 2020 featured Dartmouth Health experts who discussed the ongoing challenges and concerns brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics included:

Webinar 1: 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 (DHMC) Intensive Care Nursery (ICN), who addressed school, family, and the additional challenges faced by new parents during this time.

Survival tips

  • Explain to kids they’re safe at home and are protecting others who could get really sick.
  • Mix-up the schedule with music, going outside and setting up FaceTime or Google Hangout sessions with friends and family.
  • Contact your health care provider if you are struggling with anxiety, depression, substance misuse or addictions, like online shopping or excessive eating.


Webinar 2: Focus on Parents of Seventh Graders Through College-Age

Featuring pediatrician Kimberly Gifford, MD and Susan Pullen, DHMC Licensed Clinical Social Worker, addressing how to talk about COVID-19 and social distancing, school, and mental wellbeing with older children.


Webinar 3: Focus on High School Students

Featuring John Broderick, Senior Director of Public Affairs at Dartmouth Health and former New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice, and New Hampshire high school students, Emily Galeva of Lebanon and Aron Silvestre of Goffstown, who addressed the importance of social distancing, mental health, and staying connected to friends, classmates and teammates.

Helpful tips

  • Think of this time as an opportunity to try something new–think positively! It won’t last forever.
  • Control your schedule to provide stability and reduce stress.
  • Get outside! Go for a walk, hike or work out.
  • Spend less time on the internet and more with your parents. Talk to them, eat meals with them and learn from one another.
  • If you are struggling emotionally talk to someone—a parent, sibling or friend.
  • Gently remind kids there are online and telehealth counseling options for those that need to talk to someone neutral


Webinar 4: Focus on Health Care Workers and First Responders

Featuring Stephen Cole, Ph.D., Manager, DHMC Employee Assistance Program, who will address managing stress, protecting yourself and loved ones, and mental wellbeing.

Webinar 5: Focus on Adults, Navigating Stress and Mental Wellbeing

Featuring Robert Brady, Ph.D., Director of Anxiety Disorders Service, DHMC, 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.

Webinar 6: Focus on Seniors

Featuring Ellen Flaherty, PhD, MSN, APRN, and Daniel Stadler, MD, who will address managing anxiety surrounding the pandemic and staying connected to loved ones.

Webinar 7: Families Facing Financial Hardship

Featuring Bryan A. L’Heureux, Community Health Worker Supervisor, Mirella C. Maggi, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, and Eric Wadsworth, Financial Advisor

Webinar 8: Know and Tell: Supporting Families

Featuring Becky Parton, MSW LICSW, Dartmouth Trauma Interventions Research Center and Cathy Brittis (Bean), Program Manager, Dartmouth Health Children's Office of the Child Advocate Center

In this time of heightened anxiety, [we are] pleased to be able to bring valuable information and support to help people across the region deal with the emotional aspects of this crisis. 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.

Joanne M. Conroy, MD, CEO and President of Dartmouth Health