Senator Portantino and First District PTA Host Family Health Forum

State Senator Anthony Portantino and First District PTA are partnering for an important public heath discussion. On Saturday, Portantino and the PTA will be joined by four family therapists for a virtual Family Health Forum. The forum will provide strategies for families abiding by social distancing recommendations to better cope with the effects of COVID-19.

“I always approach my job from the perspective of being a dad. Families are coping with this unprecedented situation remarkably well. But we have also seen a rise in tensions, calls to hotlines, and struggles to maintain appropriate academic and social balances and health. It’s my hope that by having experts on the line answering questions we can all work together to get through this crisis,” Portantino said.

Every family faces both unique and common challenges during this unprecedented situation necessitating a calm, strong, and effective response to allow kids to continue to thrive in their home life and education. The event will include Senator Portantino, the First District PTA, local non-profits, and Marriage & Family Therapists answering questions and discussing how best to respond to this crisis.

“It’s consistent with our PTA mission to look out for the welfare of our entire school family community.  We are thankful for the Senator for initiating this Family Health Forum and we hope many parents, teachers, students and administrator can tune in,” added Diane Hyland, president, First District PTA.

Senator Portantino and First District have partnered on a series of mental health first aide workshops. The Family Health Forum is a continuation of their collaboration. Participants are encouraged to submit questions to the panel prior to the forum by emailing

Scheduled panel participants include State Senator Anthony Portantino, Lara Mekhitarian, LMFT, Anna Marie Rossi, MA-LMFT, Nora Chitilian, LMFT, Typical and Special Needs Children, and George Holbrook, LMFT, Clinical director Family Service Agency.

The event will be held on Saturday from 11a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be two ways to participate: via telephone at (844) 721-7241 with access code 4471730 or live stream at