Family Services Agency event highlights youth mental health needs | Good for Santa Barbara

Posted on April 12, 2022
| 8:29 p.m.

Dr. Sarah Y. Vinson

Coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Month in May, the Santa Barbara County Family Services Agency (FSA) will host its annual fundraiser featuring Dr. Sarah Y. Vinson, Youth Psychiatrist and children, addressing the topic of supporting the mental health of young people. The event will take place from 5-8:30 p.m. on May 12 at the Santa Barbara Woman’s Club in Rockwood.

The FSA will also make a live version of the event available to the public free of charge.

Proceeds from event support programs for underserved children, families and seniors, including family support services, school-based counselling, youth behavioral health and seniors mental health counselling/ caregivers, provided by the FSA, the Santa Maria Valley Youth and Family Center and Guadalupe’s Little House at the edge of the park.

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

A recent advisory, issued by the US Surgeon General, underscores the urgency of addressing the youth mental health crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FSA and other youth-serving organizations are feeling this urgency in situations across Santa Barbara County. More and more children and adolescents are experiencing emotional well-being issues, including documented increases in anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.

The FSA invites the community to hear Dr Vinson speak about the crisis and how to support young people’s mental health.

Dr. Vinson has been featured in national media such as PBS Newshour, The Guardian, Washington Times and The Roland Martin Show. She has been a guest speaker at national meetings such as the American Psychiatric Association and the School Based Health Alliance.

Dr. Vinson has received awards in recognition of her service and leadership, including the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the University of Florida College of Medicine and the Jeanne Spurlock Minority Fellowship Alumna Achievement Award.

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

The event is sponsored by 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

To learn more about the Santa Barbara County Family Services Agency, visit or call 805-965-1001.

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