Dr. Raquel Bild-Libbin has long had a unique perspective into our public schools. A licensed psychologist for more than 35 years, Dr. Bild-Libbin has treated hundreds of students, parents and teachers in her private practice.
Dr. Bild-Libbin, who earned a master’s in education and doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Miami (UM), saw first hand where student mental health and education policy intersected.
School shootings in recent years caused her to gradually reevaluate what was the best use of her expertise. The horrific massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas S.H.S. made her realize that the Miami-Dade County School Board desperately needed someone with expertise in mental health issues.
“These tragedies shook me profoundly as both a parent and as a psychologist,” said Dr. Bild-Libbin, who is running in the open District 3 seat vacated by retiring board member Dr. Martin Karp. “We need to do so much more to serve the mental health needs of our students. We can not just save lives, but also improve lives.”
The current COVID-19 pandemic and closing of schools has only hardened her commitment to make mental health a top priority in our public schools.
“Unfortunately, I am seeing an alarming increase in the number of students who are having difficulty adjusting to being at home, away from their classmates,” she said. “I also am very worried about how students will adjust when they eventually return to their classrooms.”
A Working Mom, PTA President and Trusted News Source
Dr. Bild-Libbin was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, where her parents immigrated after escaping the Holocaust in Eastern Europe. She moved to Miami by herself to attend UM, where she also earned a bachelor’s in psychology.
In addition to her own private psychology practice, Dr. Bild-Libbin also managed to be PTA president of her two children’s school, and was active in several Jewish organizations. She taught at UM’s School of Education, was a professor and the academic dean for the graduate school at what is now Carlos Albizu University, and she has extensive experience as a forensic and court-appointed psychologist in family, civil and criminal cases — including the infamous “Baby Lollipops” case.
Dr. Bild-Libbin is a trusted source of information for local and national news media, offering her perspective on a wide range of mental health topics, in English and Spanish. She has been especially busy lately as a expert on the impact of COVID-19: she appeared on Telemundo national, Fox 5 New York, Radio Caracol, CBS4 Miami, and WPLG, and was quoted in the Sun-Sentinel and Atlantic magazine, among others.
A Focus on Mental Health, Reopening Schools Safely, and Teachers
Dr. Bild-Libbin’s main campaign message is providing comprehensive mental health services to all K-12 students. She notes that the issue is gradually becoming a priority at the school district, where Superintendent Alberto Carvalho is expanding mental health services, and in Tallahassee, which is earmarking funds for it.
“I want Miami-Dade public schools to become a model of innovation and efficacy in Florida and nationwide for providing mental health services to our students,” she said. “We are finally realizing as a society that student mental health is a critical component of education.”
She notes that providing more mental health services will identify and help at-risk students from hurting themselves or others, make our community safer, and increase academic achievement.
But Dr. Bild-Libbin also is focused on other hot-button education issues. She is very concerned about re-opening schools safely, based on science and not politics, to ensure the health and safety of students and all education personnel. And, of course, she’s committed to paying and respecting teachers more, to attract and retain the best and brightest.
“I’ve waited 20 years to finally be able to run for school board,” she said. “I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work helping our students be their best.”
To learn more, visit www.drraquelforschools.com