Parents Anonymous celebrates 3 years of helping families

Lisa Pion-Berlin (right), president and chief executive officer of Parents Anonymous, and Antonia Rios, a California parent and youth leadership team member, pictured last week at the nonprofit’s Claremont office. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo

by Andrew Alonzo |

Claremont-based nonprofit Parents Anonymous celebrated the third anniversary of its California Parent and Youth Helpline on May 9. The free help line serves parents and children of all ages who need emotional support or mental health services, information, or access to Parents Anonymous’ weekly therapy groups.

State residents can call or text (855) 427-2736, ext. 1, or visit from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday to chat with operators.

Lisa Pion-Berlin, president and chief executive officer of Parents Anonymous, traveled to Sacramento last week to meet with California Department of Social Services representatives who congratulated the organization on its three-year milestone by awarding it a two-year contract worth $4.7 million, with a third-year extension option. The funds will aid in extending its hours starting July 1 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, Pion-Berlin said, and in other expenses.

The help line was launched in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic in response to the ballooning need for mental health services. The help line has aided about 57,000 people over the past three years.

Pion-Berlin said calls range from parents and children requesting mental health services, questions about school, housing, and other essential resources.

“We have people calling us of all walks of life, and feeling better at the end of the call and calling back,” Pion-Berlin said last week. “And there’s no [time] limit. We have translation services for up to 240 languages and those individuals who have some hearing impairment. We’re accessible to everybody. We hinge everything on ‘Asking for help is a sign of strength.’”

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