Burbank’s Family Service Agency Dedicates the Michael And Anthony Portantino Suicide Prevention Library & Resource Center

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Anthony Portantino hugs FSA Executive Director Laurie Bleick During Unveiling.(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Family Service Agency of Burbank is a 501(C)3 non-profit social service agency dedicated to providing quality mental health care for all and eliminating domestic violence, suicide, and all other forms of interpersonal violence, as well as preventing homelessness and serving our respected veterans and their families. FSA provides critical life-changing and often lifesaving, counseling and preventive services at the Burbank location, on 18 Burbank school campuses, and in three residential treatment facilities.

Anthony Portantino. (Photo by Ross A Benson)

“The Anthony & Michael Portantino Suicide CARE Center & Prevention Library at FSA is a space dedicated to the lives and work of two extraordinary leaders within their communities – brothers who built understanding and have inspired compassion,” stated Laurie Bleick, Burbank FSA Executive Director.  “Michael Portantino was a courageous, kind, visionary leader in his community who, at a dark time in his life, died of suicide.  This sacred space speaks to our existing mental health crisis and is inspiring difficult conversations and informed dialogue that is increasing our understanding, compassion, and hopefully resources to care for our most fragile youth, teens, adults, and families.”

Senator Portantino has a strong record of advocating for mental health policies during his time in public office.  The Senator previously authored SB 972, which required schools to print the suicide hotline on student identification cards.  He has authored legislation to require that health education courses in middle and high school include mental health content and as well as legislation that ensures youth absences for mental health issues be treated the same as excused absences for other health issues.

For his work, Senator Portantino has received numerous awards, including being recognized by Family Services Agency and Sycamores in Pasadena.  Last year, the California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies (CBHA) honored the Senator as a Behavioral Health Champion.