Kelly Wells is a principal technical assistance consultant at AIR, with almost two decades of direct experience providing training and technical assistance to state and local education and mental health agencies to develop a comprehensive approach to school mental health. Wells currently leads all the training and technical assistance (TTA) for the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE), funded through ED grant programs—Project Prevent, Mental Health Service Professional, Trauma Recovery, School-Based Mental Health, and more—to serve both state and local education agencies/districts. Wells provides oversight to product development, as well as individualized and group TTA to build the capacity of all grantees in assembling a pipeline of qualified school mental health professionals through partnerships with Institutes of Higher Education.
Wells also leads the TTA for the CDC-funded Violence Prevention Technical Assistance Center (VPTAC) to connect the dots across multiple forms of violence and shared risk and protective factors. She previously led TTA for the state-funded Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) grantees across the country through the National Resource Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention on multiple items: using the public health approach model to address school violence prevention; developing, implementing, and sustaining school-based mental/behavioral health services; early childhood programming; selecting evidence-based and evidence-informed programs and practices; building capacity; evaluation and data collection. She has helped facilitate systems change by integrating SS/HS with existing state and community level programs and infrastructures.
Wells has worked with education, mental health, public health, child welfare, and juvenile justice systems in developing, integrating, and sustaining evidence-based/informed programs and services to meet the needs of children, youth, and families in the communities they serve. She specializes in building the capacity of state and local systems to develop, implement, and sustain a comprehensive approach to school mental health promotion, positive school climate, and youth violence prevention. In her career, she has developed numerous community collaborations that focused on truancy, gang and violence prevention, restorative justice, mental health promotion, and juvenile justice reform.