Parents Anonymous’ Free California Parent & Youth Helpline Celebrates Its Third Anniversary During Mental Health Awareness Month 

The California Department of Social Services Recognizes the Impact of the Nonprofit and Awards it with an Extended Two-Year, $4.7 Million Contract so the Free Helpline May Continue to Offer Emotional Support to Parents and Youth Struggling with Mental Illness 

LOS ANGELES (May 11, 2023) – This May, Parents Anonymous® celebrates the third anniversary of the California Parent & Youth Helpline®, a free Helpline for California diverse parents, children and youth up to 25 years old needing immediate emotional support and Evidence-Based Parents Anonymous® Groups to enhance mental health and enhance personal growth and change.  

“Research on the Helpline confirms that anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation is successful addressed by enhancing well-being and self-efficacy and more importantly diverse Parents, Children and Youth from every county in California has the opportunity to join a Free, Online Weekly Parents Anonymous® Group,” says Dr. Lisa Pion-Berlin, ACHT, ACSW and President and CEO at Parents Anonymous® Inc. “We are very excited to increase the Helpline hours to 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week starting July 1, 2023. We believe that asking for help is a sign of strength.” 

As a result of the positive impact of the multilingual and culturally responsive Helpline, which is staffed by professional counselors, Parents Anonymous Inc. was awarded a new $4.7 million contract from the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). The contract will provide the necessary funds so the Helpline may continue to serve parents and youth in need of support for another two years, with an option for a third year. 

“In California, we are committed to preserving and strengthening our mental health system,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary, California Health and Human Services Agency. “Our goal is to ensure that all Californians have access to the mental health services they need and the California Parent & Youth Helpline has proven to be a great resource for children and families.” 

Parents Anonymous launched The California Parent & Youth Helpline® in 2020 in response to the growing need for additional mental health resources because of COVID-19. With initial funding from CDSS, the Helpline has provided the necessary tools and resources to thousands of parents and children in need of emotional support for the last three years, including but not limited to:  

  • The Helpline has received over 57,000 calls, texts and live chats from diverse parents, children and youth from all 58 counties in California to date. 
  • 7,000+ Evidence-Based Parents Anonymous® services for diverse, parents, children and youth resulting in significant increases in resilience, well-being, and family functioning.  
  • Over 1,000,000 page views and unique visitors to the website seeking resources and to connect to all Evidence-Based Parents Anonymous® Programs statewide. 

A grateful local Latina, Native American mother of seven, grandmother of four, and kin provider had this to say about how the Helpline helped her and her family: 

“I have been very blessed to use The California Parent & Youth Helpline®. It has been a big part of my life and sanity especially during the pandemic during lockdown and school closures. The California Parent & Youth Helpline® is a LIFELINE for me and all my children. I struggle with mental health issues and addiction. I have used this service since it started, and because of the judgment-free, compassionate space, I can continue to be there for my family. This support has helped me grow and address my underlining emotions that in the past held me down and most importantly, it has helped me stop using drugs. During the pandemic, I was able to utilize the free, Weekly Evidence-Based Parents Anonymous® Groups to help reduce my feelings, and my children’s feelings, of isolation and fear.” 

The roles of parents and youth continue to grow more complex with the challenges of societal struggles, financial hardships, and the ever-changing daily life struggles. Parents Anonymous® is providing a step in the right direction to local Californians with its California Parent & Youth Helpline® and on a national level with its National Parent Helpline®. 

“The California Parent & Youth Helpline® has proven to be an excellent resource for children and youth in need of immediate emotional support – especially during the pandemic,” said Kim Johnson, Director, California Department of Social Services. “We are glad that the helpline will continue to be available in California, supporting the emotional and mental health needs of California parents, caregivers, and youth.” 

Those in need of support can call or text at 855-427-2736, or live chat from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. PST, 7 days a week through 

To learn more about the California Parent & Youth Helpline® please visit For more information about Parents Anonymous® and its programs visit

About Parents Anonymous 

Since 1969, Parents Anonymous Inc. has created and disseminated internationally various Evidence-Based Programs and initiatives that support the empowerment journey of diverse parents, children, and youth. According to the Federal Title IV-E Prevention Clearinghouse, Parents Anonymous® is the ONLY culturally responsive program that is proven to Effectively Improve Parenting, Enhance Mental Health and Reduce Substance Abuse while Ensuring Child Safety for diverse families with children and youth of all ages. Also, Parents Anonymous® started and partners with thousands of entities to celebrate National Parent Leadership Month® every February. With the support of the U.S. Congress, the National Parent Helpline® began in 1969 as the first and only nationwide emotional support system for Parents, Caregivers, Children & Youth. Since May 2020, Parents Anonymous has operated The California Parent and Youth Helpline® and online Parents Anonymous® Weekly Groups. Learn more at or by following on Facebook or Instagram.