How to Talk With Teens About Mental Health

with Tracy Cavaligos, PsyD

How to Talk With Teens About Mental Health

Episode 31, Season 2 | May 18, 2022

Show Notes

Between 2009 and 2019, the percentage of teens who reported having “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” rose from 26 percent to 37 percent and, in 2021, to 44 percent. Further, research shows that 1 in 5 youth in distress felt that they didn’t have someone they could turn to in a crisis. How can we let our teens know we’re here for them and protect them from significant mental health challenges? How do we know what to say, or even where to begin? In today’s podcast episode, CHC clinical services expert, Dr. Tracy Cavaligos shares myriad tips and takeaways for talking to our teens about mental health.

Guest Info
Tracy Cavaligos headshot

Dr. Tracy Cavaligos (she/her/hers) has dedicated her career to working holistically with children, adolescents, young adults and their families to support their mental health. She strives to provide compassionate and collaborative therapeutic care to youth and their families in managing anxiety, mood concerns, ADHD, relational difficulties, adjusting to life transitions including chronic medical diagnoses and adherence, gender and sexuality support and identity development. Tracy has continually sought specialized training in order to provide developmentally appropriate, affirmative and supportive mental health care to youth with chronic illnesses (such as GI disorders, cancer, and diabetes) and gender diverse youth. She also provides comprehensive psychological assessments for youth with attention and learning concerns.


She completed her undergraduate training at the University of San Francisco majoring in Psychology and Child and Youth Studies. Following her work in residential mental health centers in the Bay Area she continued her education at Pacific University’s School of Graduate Psychology in Oregon, where she earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with specialization in Child and Adolescent Care. She completed her internship at Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center with focused training on outpatient therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, care of gender diverse youth, psychological assessment, and Teen Parenting Program in multidisciplinary health clinics. Following internship Tracy completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Children’s Hospital of Orange County providing specialized outpatient therapy, psychological assessments and Oncological Consultation Liaison services.


In her time outside of the office Tracy enjoys baking, reading fantasy novels, trying to keep her plants alive, practicing yoga and taking way too many pictures of her puppy.