Family Service Agency Event Brings Awareness to Youth Mental Health Needs

By Giving List Staff   |   April 14, 2022

Virtual and In-Person Presentations on Thursday, May 12

Dr. Sarah Vinson

Coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Month in May, Family Service Agency (FSA) of Santa Barbara County will be hosting its annual fundraiser featuring Dr. Sarah Y. Vinson, esteemed youth and child psychiatrist, speaking on the subject of Supporting Youth Mental Health. This event takes place on May 12th, from 5:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at the Santa Barbara Woman’s Club at Rockwood. As a public service, FSA will make a livestream version of the event available to the public at no cost.

Proceeds from the event support programs for underserved children, families and seniors—including family support services, school-based counseling, youth behavioral health, and senior/caregiver mental health counseling—provided by FSA, Santa Maria Valley Youth and Family Center and Guadalupe’s Little House by the Park.

“As a youth-serving organization, we see the impacts of this youth mental health crisis on children, parents, teachers, and the whole community,” states Family Service Agency CEO, Lisa Brabo. “This event provides an opportunity for community members to take a step towards becoming more informed and unified in supporting the mental health of our youth.”

A recent advisory, issued by the U.S. Surgeon General, highlights the urgency to address our youth mental health crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic. FSA and other youth-serving organizations feel that urgency in situations across Santa Barbara County. More children and adolescents are experiencing challenges to emotional wellbeing, including documented increases in anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. Family Service Agency invites the community to join with Dr. Vinson as she discusses the crisis and how we can support youth mental health.

Dr. Sarah Y. Vinson has been featured in national media such as the PBS Newshour, The Guardian, Washington Times and the Roland Martin Show. In addition, Dr. Sarah Y. Vinson has been an invited speaker at national meetings such as the American Psychiatric Association and School Based Health Alliance. Dr. Vinson has received numerous awards in

Recognition of her service and leadership including the University of Florida College of Medicine Outstanding Young Alumni Award and the Jeanne Spurlock Minority Fellowship Alumna Achievement Award.

Tickets for the in-person reception and presentation are $150 and can be purchased at

This event is made possible with support of sponsors: Tania and John Burke, Marni and Michael Cooney, Santa Barbara Foundation, Ginny and Tim Bliss, Zora and Les Charles, Montecito Bank & Trust, Union Bank, Jill and John Bishop, Ginny and Tim Bliss, Dignity Health, Tisha Ford, Jane and Fred Sweeney, Carole MacElhenny, Liz and Andrew Butcher, and CenCal Health. For a full list of sponsors visit                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Family Service Agency of Santa Barbara County (FSA) is a nonprofit social service agency that has served the people of Santa Barbara County since 1899. Operating as Santa Maria Valley Youth and Family Center (SMVYFC) in Santa Maria and Little House By The Park (LHP) in Guadalupe, FSA helps the community’s most vulnerable children, families, and seniors meet their basic needs while simultaneously addressing mental health needs. Through this holistic approach, FSA improves the strength and well-being of our community. All services are provided free or on a sliding fee/donation scale and no one is denied assistance because of an inability to pay. Visit or call (805) 965-1001 for more information.


Family Service Agency

Donate now!
(805) 965.1001 x 1255
Director of Development: Paul Katan


Our mission is to strengthen and advocate for families and individuals of all ages and diversities, helping to create and preserve a healthy community.

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FSA has always found a way to help those in need, expanding the depth of its programs when necessary. It is truly an asset to our community.
Marni Cooney
Board member

Help Serve More Families in Need, Faster

Family Service Agency has a long tradition of helping low-income people across Santa Barbara County receive the help they need in times of crisis. It’s a holistic approach that provides the wrap-around care each individual needs in order to become self-reliant, a mission that’s importance has become even more pronounced in the past few years.

But with inflation on the rise, FSA and the Santa Barbara County residents it serves need help.  

“Where we are really lacking is having enough flexible funding for basic needs,” Lisa Brabo, FSA’s CEO says. “We’re doing our best to serve as many families as we can, but that’s where we really need help.”

Board of Directors

Molly Carrillo-Walker, Co-President
Tricia Price, Co-President
Rod Durham, Co-VP of Programs
Edward Tran, Co-VP of Programs
Maria McCall, VP of Development
Robert Janeway, Co-Treasurer
Linda Sessler, Co-Treasurer
Teressa Johnes, Secretary

Mario Barfield, Psy.D.
Arianna Castellanos
Paul Cordeiro
Marni Cooney
Robin Doell Sawaske
Ed Galanski
Patty Herrera
Blanca Mejia, J.D.
Alexander Murkison
Paul Van Meel
Ryan Zick, J.D.
Terri Zuniga

Shirley Ann