Melissa Reeves is a speaker working with Kirkland Productions through Safe & Sound Schools.
Dr. Melissa Reeves, Ph.D., NCSP, LPC is the immediate Past-President of the National Association of School Psychologists (2016-17). She is also a national certified school psychologist, licensed special education teacher, licensed professional counselor, and former district coordinator of social/emotional/behavioral services. She formerly worked for the Cherry Creek School District in Colorado and is currently an associate professor at Winthrop University. She most recently worked as a school psychologist at a preK-12 grade school. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate psychology courses for Winthrop, in addition to supervising graduate school psychology students in their field-based traineeship and internship placements. She has also previously provided mental health services in day treatment and residential treatment settings.
Dr. Reeves is a co-author of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) PREPaRE School Crisis Prevention and Intervention curriculum, the first nationally disseminated school crisis prevention and intervention curriculum. She is also former Chair of the NASP National School Safety and Crisis Response Committee which provides consultation and support to school districts across the country after large scale crisis events including school shootings and natural disasters. She was a founding member of the Colorado Society of School Psychologists State-Wide Crisis Response Team, which trained school districts across Colorado in crisis response and was also a crisis responder to support students after Columbine. In addition to responding to various crises over the years, she travels both nationally and internationally training professionals in the areas of crisis prevention and intervention, threat and suicide assessment, the impact of trauma and PTSD on academic achievement, and cognitive behavior therapy in the school setting. She has conducted more than 250 workshops and presentations and works with schools on establishing a positive and safe school climate that focuses on prevention programs and positive discipline measures to decrease behavioral incidences while increasing academic achievement. She has also provided consultation and staff development training to United States Department of Defense Educational Activity Schools located on military installations. She also is involved in school safety and advocacy work with two parents who lost their children in the Sandy Hook tragedy.
Dr. Reeves is co-author of four books: School Crisis Prevention and Intervention: The PREPaRE Model (original and 2nd Editions); Identifying, Assessing, and Treating PTSD at School; and Comprehensive Planning for Safe Learning Environments: A School Professional’s Guide to Integrating Physical and Psychological Safety: Prevention through Recovery. She has contributed multiple articles to the Communiqué, the nationally disseminated publication for the National Association of School Psychologists and has co-authored numerous book chapters and journal articles. In addition she has testified, at the invitation from United States Senator Mary Landrieu from Louisiana, in front of the U.S. Senate Ad Hoc Subcommittee for Disaster and Recovery regarding "Children and Disasters: A Progress Report on Addressing Needs." Dr. Reeves has twice been awarded the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Presidential Award (2006, 2012) and NASP Crisis Interest Group Award for Excellence (2007, 2011). She was a 2007 national finalist for the Joseph E. Zins "Purpose" Award for Early Career Practitioners in Social Learning; in 2006 awarded Golden Heart Award, presented by Cherry Creek School District Parent Special Education Advisory Council; and received the University of Denver, College of Education Leadership in Learning Alumni Award (2006). She has received numerous other awards throughout her career in addition to serving elected terms as a NASP Delegate and Executive Council leader.
Addressing Mental Health Needs in the Schools
This workshop discusses the impact of mental health on academic achievement and social-emotional functioning. Participants will learn the developmental indicators of mental health challenges and identify the barriers that schools face in addressing mental health needs. Strategies to implement proactive and universal approaches to addressing mental health needs and interventions to promote skill building will be discussed. In addition, how schools can provide intensive supports and utilize community services to supplement school-based services and programs will be reviewed.
School-Based Crisis Prevention and Intervention
This advanced-level workshop will assist you in enhancing the crisis procedures already in place in your school district. Specifically, learn cutting-edge tips on conducting crisis exercises and drills in the school setting. In addition, strategies for using social media, dealing with the press, and planning memorials will be offered. The legal ramifications of crisis response and the spiritual dimensions in the aftermath of a crisis also will be highlighted.
Reunification for the School Community
Melissa co-presents with Michele Gay to share personal and professional experiences in school-based reunification, examine best practices and current reunification models, and conduct scenario-based, table-top exercises to prepare participants for successful reunification planning and preparation.
Psychological Safety: How Can We Help? – The M-PHAT Approach
The M-PHAT approach involves a Multi-Phase, Multi-Hazards, Multi-Agency, and a Multi-Tiered approach to establishing a comprehensive plan for a safe schools environment that aligns with current response to intervention and positive behavior supports initiatives. This session focuses on development of school and district safety and crisis teams and plans; understanding the different components to a comprehensive school safety plan vs. a crisis plan; conducting psychological and physical safety assessments, and establishing a data collection system to enable data-driven decisions.
Threat and Suicide Risk Assessment: Developing a Proactive and Consistent Approach to Evaluating Risk
This workshop will focus on the process and procedures needed to establish a consistent school/district-wide approach to threat and suicide risk assessment utilizing a multidisciplinary team. Critical factors discussed will include: current statistics and legal cases, early identification of warning signs, primary prevention strategies to “break the code of silence”; an overview of risk assessment models and tools; assessment procedures; and strategies for interventions, postventions, and working with difficult parents. Case study examples and forms will be shared to illustrate the process.
PREPaRE Workshop #1: Prevention and Preparedness: Comprehensive School Safety Planning (2nd Edition)
In this newly updated workshop, participants will learn how to establish and sustain comprehensive school safety and crisis prevention and preparedness efforts. With updated research and strategies, this workshop makes a clearer connection between ongoing school safety and crisis preparedness. It also emphasizes the unique needs and functions of school teams and the steps involved in developing these teams, including a model that integrates school personnel and community provider roles. The PREPaRE model builds on existing personnel, resources and programs, and can be adapted to individual school needs and size. Finally, the workshop explores how to prepare for school crises by developing, exercising, and evaluating safety and crisis plans. This workshop is an excellent course for mental health and educational professionals working at all grade levels in your district that help establish a safe school climate and respond to crises.
PREPaRE Workshop #2: Crisis Intervention and Recovery: The Roles of School-Based Mental Health Professionals (2nd Edition)
This two-day workshop provides school-based mental health professionals and other school crisis intervention team members with the knowledge necessary to meet the mental health needs of students and staff following a school-associated crisis event. With updated research and crisis intervention strategies, this workshop teaches participants how to prevent and prepare for psychological trauma, reaffirm both the physical health of members of the school community and students’ perceptions that they are safe and secure, evaluate the degree of psychological trauma, respond to the psychological needs of members of the school community, and examine the effectiveness of school crisis intervention and recovery efforts. This workshop is an excellent course for all mental health professionals in your district who provide mental health crisis intervention services.
Dr. Reeves is also available to present the PREPaRE ToT (Training of Trainers) Workshops that correspond to the PREPaRE workshops described above.
Additional Presentation Topics
Dr. Reeves is available for panel events and discussions and presents on many other topics including Threat Assessment Management, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, PTSD in school-aged children, Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Grief, Loss, and Mourning, Bi-Polar and Depressive Disorders in School-Aged Children, The DSM-5, and more. If you are interested in a specific topic, please inquire.
Dr. Melissa Reeves is a charismatic and motivational speaker who challenges both educators and policymakers to find ways to make our schools a safer place to be. Her knowledge and expertise within the areas of crisis prevention and intervention and suicide and threat assessments clearly define her as an expert in these fields. By using her own personal stories and experience, the information she presents to an audience is relevant, meaningful, and, most importantly, inspiring. She is a change-agent for both our schools and our communities.
Lisa J. Bernard, Ed. S., School Psychologist, II Fort Mill School District, SC