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ECMHMatters Podcast – Episode 1

Malika speaks with Dr. Debbie Allen about her experience being a part of the founding team of the Project LAUNCH, MYCHILD, and System of Care grants held by the Partnership for Early Childhood Mental Health. This is where it all started.

Episode Resources


Dr. Debbie Allen, ScD

Deputy Director of Health Promotion
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Dr. Allen is a longtime advocate for children with special healthcare needs and was a driving force behind efforts to increase the availability of high-quality services for children with behavioral health needs.

She formed an Early Childhood Mental Health Team  at the Boston Public Health Commission to ensure that Boston families have access to children’s mental health services; she partnered with Boston Public Schools to provide outreach and support to children who experience frequent absences due to the child, sibling or parents’ mental or physical health problems; and she secured federal funding to support a system of early intervention mental health care for Boston children.

Deborah also advocated for changes to state insurance mandates to ensure that children with autism could gain access to diagnosis and treatment services without having to pay out-of-pocket expenses.

Dr. Allen was recognized for her work from the Association for Behavioral Healthcare. She received the Carl B. Cutchins Award for Children’s Behavioral Health, which goes to “someone who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to supporting and enhancing services for troubled children/adolescents at the state or local level.”


Malika Arty

System of Care Program Manager
Early Childhood Mental Health Department
Boston Public Health Commission

Malika Arty was born in Cambridge, Ma and spent her early years in Amherst, Ma. While living in Amherst gave her a great foundation of arts, culture and education; moving back to Cambridge in her teens helped her identify with her West Indian lineage. These and many other life experiences fostered her strong work ethic and passion for community activism. As a young mother of 3 children, Malika sought out roles that would offer her the flexibility to be with her children.

Malika’s resume includes work as a Home based coach for Early Childhood Literacy, Youth Mentor, High school Cheerleading Coach, Sr. Family Partner, Coordinator of Family Driven Practice for the Department of Mental Health and now the Early Childhood Program Manager at the Boston Public Health Commission. Malika realized early on that her life’s work would be in service to youth and families in her community. Malika is a certified Wraparound Trainer and Wraparound Process Mentor and has found her passion where her lived experience and professional training meet to promote family driven practice throughout child and family serving systems.

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