- Behavioral health (mental health and substance use) workforce development
- Mental health and substance use evidence-based training programs
- Evidence-based therapies, modalities and techniques to address and treat depression, anxiety and opioid/drug and alcohol misuse (e.g., DBT, MI, SBIRT, telehealth)
- Interprofessional education and transdisciplinary team science
- Social work and practicum education
Melissa Reitmeier joined the faculty of the College of Social Work in 2012. Prior to joining the University of South Carolina, Dr. Reitmeier was the director of quality assurance and training for Disability Rights of South Carolina and a dialectical behavioral therapist with the South Carolina Center for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy of which she continues supervised practice through Carolina Behavioral Therapy.
Dr. Reitmeier is a full, clinical professor and has served as the director of practicum education since 2012. She is responsible for providing leadership and oversight of all practicum and seminar (field) education activities, including the development of practicums and integrative seminar courses for BSW and MSW programs and supervises the members of the practicum education team. Dr. Reitmeier also trains and evaluates practicum instructors, while employing, maintaining, training and evaluating faculty practicum liaisons. She develops partnerships and evaluates practicum sites and practicum programs to ensure all activities are compliant with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Educational Policies and Academic Standards. Given Reitmeier’s administrative role, she is committed to assessing social work curricula and educational outcomes. More recently, Reitmeier has developed and explored development of experiential learning labs which are embedded in clinical practicum courses to improve professional judgment through mindfulness and other wellness strategies.
As a researcher and seasoned practitioner, Reitmeier’s scholarship interests include advancing our behavioral health workforce in evidence-based ways and in preparing the next generation of social workers for the frontlines of the mental health and substance use pandemic we are facing post COVID-19 onset. Dr. Reitmeier believes in the value and worth of evidence-based techniques and modalities of treatment for depression, anxiety, opioid/drug and alcohol misuse and aims to research and adherently train our students, community practitioners and leadership in these cutting edge, emerging, and scientifically supported therapies (e.g., MI, SBIRT, DBT), modalities (e.g. telehealth) and techniques (e.g., cold face immersion, paced breathing). Reitmeier has been awarded several large training grants over the last 7 years through HRSA and SAMHSA. Her most recent HRSA award, the HOPE-WWR (Health Occupations Providing Excellence in Workforce Wellness and Resiliency) program provides a three-prong multicomponent training series to educate and train future healthcare workforce professionals, current healthcare workforce professionals, and healthcare organizational leadership that will lead and cultivate a workforce wellness philosophy in South Carolina.
Reitmeier has recently co-authored journal articles on topics including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social work education and behavioral health training, health professionals’ attitudes on integrated care, and implementing telehealth in rural areas. Her publications have been featured in scholarly journals, such as Social Work Research, Journal of Social Work Education, and Social Work in Health Care. Reitmeier recently co-edited a book “Dilemmas in Social Work Field Education: Decision Cases.” for Columbia University Press.
Reitmeier is the appointed Chair of the CSWE’s Council of Field Directors. She is also Chair of the South Carolina Field Education Consortium and vice president of the State of South Carolina Mental Health Planning Council.