Communications Director

Articles by Sara Rattigan, Communications Director

Sara Rattigan, M.S. is the communications director for The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, and a public health communicator whose passion has always centered around innovative approaches to health education and health promotion for youth of all ages. Before joining The Clay Center, Sara served as a health communications specialist at the MA Department of Public Health (MDPH), working with epidemiologists and industrial hygienists to use data findings to inform injury prevention intervention.

At MDPH, Sara had the honor of project managing and creatively contributing to Getting Hurt Is Not In Your Job Description, a Massachusetts statewide social marketing campaign to raise awareness among young workers about injury prevention and their rights and responsibilities on the job. After MDPH, she went on to provide oversight, at Harvard University, for a range of high-level Title IX projects specific to sexual and gender-based harassment education, prevention, and response, including project managing the adaptation of an undergraduate online training module for multiple graduate schools across the University.

Sara received her M.S. in health communication from Tufts University School of Medicine, and her B.A. in theatre arts from Fordham University’s College at Lincoln Center, with minors in communications and media studies, and creative writing.

 To learn more about Sara, or to contact her directly, please see Our Team.

Medications: For Better or Worse? – Shrinking It Down

June 24, 2020

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Medications: For Better or Worse? – Shrinking It Down

Many parents of kids struggling with a mental health issue have concerns – even fears – about medication as a part of treatment. Will it help? Will it hurt? What are the side effects? Today, Dr. Tim Wilens, chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, joins Gene and Ellen to […]

Managing Challenging Behavior in Kids During Stressful Times – Shrinking It Down

June 10, 2020

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Managing Challenging Behavior in Kids During Stressful Times – Shrinking It Down

These past months and weeks have put tremendous stress on families across the country, on top of the daily challenges we were already navigating. And under tremendous stress, it can become even harder to regulate our emotions, leaving our kids – and even us – struggling with challenging behavior.   In today’s episode, Dr. Stuart Ablon, […]

Climate Anxiety and Kids – Shrinking It Down

May 13, 2020

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Climate Anxiety and Kids – Shrinking It Down

Tune in wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for “Shrinking It Down.” Many kids are becoming more worried about climate change. Frightening predictions about the future and political inaction can make them feel that the crisis is out of their control. How can parents help their kids cope with anxiety around climate change? On […]

May – Meditation Challenge

May 2, 2020

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May – Meditation Challenge

Every day is time for supporting our mental health, but this year families everywhere are in need of extra hope, support, endurance, and moments of calm. This May, during Mental Health Awareness Month, we hope you’ll accept our meditation challenge. As parents, grandparents, teachers, community workers, and other caring adults, it’s important to take care […]

COVID-19 and College Students – Shrinking It Down

April 29, 2020

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COVID-19 and College Students – Shrinking It Down

Tune in wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for “Shrinking It Down.” When teens leave home for college, it’s natural for both parents and young adults to adjust to new lifestyles and living apart. But many college students unexpectedly returned home due to the coronavirus pandemic, and this can pose challenges for families as they reestablish norms and expectations for living […]

Bipolar Disorder and The Arts: Mark Vonnegut’s Story

April 7, 2020

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Bipolar Disorder and The Arts: Mark Vonnegut’s Story

Despite our growing awareness of mental health conditions, the relationship between creativity and mental illness is often misunderstood. In this Parent Strategy Announcement (PSA), Dr. Mark Vonnegut discusses how art helped him to overcome his own mental health challenges, and why mental illness doesn’t have to be a barrier to achievement and creativity. Watch our […]

COVID-19: Mental Health Check-In – Shrinking It Down

March 26, 2020

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COVID-19: Mental Health Check-In – Shrinking It Down

Life as we know it has changed since our last episode. Concerns, disruptions, and uncertainty surrounding the new coronavirus disease have affected us all. While we can’t immediately change this public health crisis – though we can do our part by staying home if we’re able! – we do have the power to change how […]

Is Your Teen an Emotional Sponge? – Shrinking It Down

February 26, 2020

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Is Your Teen an Emotional Sponge? – Shrinking It Down

Peers can be an excellent source of social support, and it’s great that more young people today talk to friends about their emotional challenges. But for every teen who shares, there’s another teen absorbing the info like an emotional sponge. And while it feels good to help a friend, it can also feel overwhelming – […]

Nature Versus Nurture, featuring Jordan Smoller, MD ScD – Shrinking It Down

February 12, 2020

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Nature Versus Nurture, featuring Jordan Smoller, MD ScD – Shrinking It Down

Many parents worry that their own or a family member’s mental health disorder destine their children to struggle in the same way. But, while many psychiatric disorders do run in families to some extent, so do lots of things! Right down to food preferences and professions. So, how much do genes have to do with […]

Extra Time on Tests: Does It Work? – Shrinking It Down

January 29, 2020

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Extra Time on Tests: Does It Work? – Shrinking It Down

The answer is, it depends. When “extra time” on tests first began decades ago, the goal was to level the playing field for students with learning disabilities by allotting them the same amount of time that everyone else had. Today, it seems every parent thinks their kid could benefit from extra time on tests, and in […]