I would like to express my deep admiration and gratitude for the work that Rep. Richard Malaby has done to improve the Maine’s behavioral health services for children with mental health and/or developmental disability challenges.
I am a child and adolescent psychiatrist. I was formerly the medical director of the Maine DHHS Office of Child and Family Services, and I am currently the president of the Maine Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Today, however, I am writing to express my own personal opinion.
Rep. Malaby is more knowledgeable about children’s behavioral health services than any legislator I have ever met. I have been constantly amazed at his knowledge of the professional literature. Rep. Malaby has clearly also learned about practical issues through extensive conversations with children’s behavioral health providers and state government personnel. I have been constantly astonished by the depth and breadth of his knowledge.
Improving government-funded services, in today’s terribly polarized political climate, is very difficult. Rep. Malaby has been extremely effective, however, by introducing legislation, working with other legislators and working with the LePage administration. Rep. Malaby got some bills passed. And, for other bills or aspects of bills he introduced, Rep. Malaby was able to convince DHHS to accomplish the goals of his bills without legislation. And, in another case, the original goal of one of his bills was accomplished by a bill submitted by a fellow legislator. In this past legislative session, Rep. Malaby, through his knowledge, perseverance and coalition building, was able to be remarkably effective on behalf of children’s behavioral health services for youth and families in Maine.
I know that Rep. Malaby is now running for the Maine Senate. I am not able to endorse candidates, and indeed, I do not even know who he is running against. I can say, though, that if the children of Maine end up with someone in the Senate with as much knowledge and passion about children’s behavioral health services as Rep. Malaby, they will be lucky indeed.
Lindsey Tweed, MD, MPH