Boston University Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences
Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Boston University Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences
Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Melody Riefer, M.S.W.

Senior Mental Health/Psychiatric Rehabilitation Training Associate

Melody had been providing training and technical assistance (TA) on many aspects of recovery-oriented approaches for organizational structures and individual services and has worked as a program director, advocate, practitioner, and consultant. She brings expertise in trauma-informed approaches, training and supporting peer providers, policy and organizational readiness, social justice, and using implementation sciences to ensure successful transformation. She has worked with multiple state and federal agencies, managed care companies, and a wide variety of advocacy organizations.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Developing and delivering engaging webinars
  • Implementing decision support and shared decision-making processes
  • Creating work force expansion through well trained and supported peer support services
  • Supporting agencies and providers in developing readiness for broad adoption of contemporized and effective technology and services

Selected Publications, Presentations, and Trainings

Keynote Presenter, Recovery Through Employment, Individual Placement and Support Annual Conference, Franklin, TN, Tennessee Department of Behavioral Health, April 2019

Keynote and Workshop Presenter, Being Professional, Being Real, Peer Recovery Supporter Conference, Ohio Department of Mental Health/NASMHPD Funding, Columbus, Ohio, June 2018

Presenter, Working Together: Managing Specialty Peer Workforce Roles, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Annual Children’s Conference, Norman OK, May 2018

Panelist, Using Recovery-Oriented Practices to Promote Positive Health Outcomes, American Public Health Association’s Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA, November 2017

Poster Presentation, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association’s 40th Annual Wellness and Recovery Summit, Atlanta, GA June 2017

Keynote Presenter, International IPS Learning Community Annual Meeting, Cleveland, OH, May 2017

Keynote Presenter & Breakout Workshop, Oregon Supported Employment Conference, September 2017

Keynote Presenter, Michigan Assisted Living Association’s (MALA) 50th Anniversary Conference, May 2017

Workshop Presenter, New York Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services Annual Conference, September 2016

Riefer, M. (Keynote). (2014, August). What we share makes us strong. Presented at “TheMHS Conference,” TheMHS Learning Network. Perth, WA, Australia.

Riefer, M. (2014). Technology and shared decision making. Presented at the BRSS TACS Regional Summit on Health Information Technology and Recovery, Atlanta, GA; Kansas City; KS, Reno, NV.

Riefer, M. (Trainer). (2014, January). Utilizing decision support software in psychiatric rehab education. Training to the Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation & Counseling Professions, Rutgers School of Health Related Professions, Newark, NJ.

Riefer, M., & Tucker, P. (Trainers). (2013, September). Olmstead and housing plans in Mississippi. Training for Advocates for Human Potential, Inc., Jackson, MS.

Riefer, M. (Keynote, at the invitation of Victor Buwalda en Annet Nugter). (2013, June). The dignity of risk. Presented at the Congres ROM in de GGZ: Patiënten en professionals in the lead, Amsterdam.

Riefer, M. (Keynote). (2013, May). Recovery and wellness: We do! Presented at the Mental Health Association of Glenn Falls, Glenn Falls, NY.

Riefer, M., & Stiles, A. (2009–2014). Technical training manual for CommonGround. Pat Deegan, PhD, & Associates, LLC. Unpublished.

Riefer, M. (Keynote). (2011, June). Shared decision making. Presented at the NAMI Annual Conference, Columbus, OH.

Riefer, M. (2011). Personal medicine for your recovery. Presented at Alternatives 2011, Orlando, FL.

Riefer, M. (2011, February). Whole health recovery. Presented at the SAMHSA’s National Health Summit, Washington, D.C.

Riefer, M. (2010). Finding CommonGround: Integrating Wellness and Personal Advocacy through the use of Personal Medicine and Shared Decision Making. Presented at Alternatives 2010, Anaheim, CA.

Deegan, P. E., Rapp, C., Holter, M., & Riefer, M. (2008, June). Best practices: A program to support shared decision making in an outpatient psychiatric medication clinic. Psychiatric Services, 59(6), 603–605. doi: 10.1176/

Riefer, M. (Keynote). (2008, July). Self-directed care in mental health. Presented at the Arkansas Mental Health Institute Annual Conference, Hot Springs, AR.

Riefer, M. (Invited presenter). (2008, June). Shared decision making. Presented at the NAMI National Conference, Orlando, FL.

Riefer, M. (Invited presenter). (2008, March). Spirituality and wellness & taking charge of your recovery. Presented at the Texas Independent Living Center Annual Conference, Houston, TX.

Riefer, M. (Train-the-trainer). (2008, February). Dynamic collaboration. Presented at the National Mental Health Planning & Advisory Council’s Annual Trainer’s Event, San Antonio, TX.

Riefer, M. (Keynote). (2007, March). Shared decision making: Approaches for medication management in the recovery process. Presented at the Science to Service Conference, Boston University, Boston, MA.

Riefer, M. (Keynote). (2007, April). Mental illness and independent living centers. Presented at the Region 6 Annual Conference, Little Rock, AR.

Riefer, M. (Keynote). (2007, April). It is time now for us to rise! Presented at the Community Care Behavioral Health’s Annual Recovery Conference, Pittsburgh, PA.

Shared decision-making summit [Participant]. (2006, December). KU School of Social Welfare; Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College.

Riefer, M. (2006, October). Strengths-based case management training. KU School of Social Welfare, Visiting Scholars, Japan.

Riefer, M. (2006, July). Mental health perspectives: The Oklahoma Olmstead report. Submitted to the Oklahoma Legislature.

Riefer, M. (Panelist). (2005). Peer support and Olmstead. Panelist at the National Olmstead Coordinator’s Conference, Washington, D.C.

Riefer, M. (2005). Managing new power with servant leadership skills. Presented at Alternatives 2005, Phoenix, AZ.

Riefer, M. (Author/trainer). (2004, 2005, 2006). Recovery Support Specialist training curriculum. Training for the Oklahoma Dept. of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Oklahoma City, OK.

National trainer. (2005, 2006). National Association of Mental Health Planning and Advisory Councils.

Riefer, M. (Keynote). (2003, 2004, 2005). Annual Keynote Address from the Office of Consumer Affairs. Presented at the Oklahoma Mental Health Consumer Conference, Oklahoma City, OK

Riefer, M. (2003). Georgia’s consumer-driven road to recovery. Atlanta, GA: Department of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Addiction.

Riefer, M. (Keynote). (2003). Representing recovery. Presented at the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Conference, St. Simon’s Island, GA.