Tessa Parkes

University of Stirling

Tessa is Professor of Substance Use and Inclusion Health and Co-Director of the Salvation Army Centre for Addiction Services and Research at the University of Stirling where she leads a number of research and knowledge exchange projects focused on the reduction of harms and promotion of health and well-being for those impacted by social and health inequalities.

Tessa has experience in the statutory and non-statutory health, social care and housing/homelessness sectors as a front-line support worker, team leader, and mental health nurse, and has provided consultancy and training to a wide variety of organisations focused on service improvement to better meet the needs of healthcare users with mental health issues including related to problem use of substances. She has a track record of creating a positive impact on policy and practice through research. For 25 years her research activity has centred on enhancing the experience of people who use health/social care services, with a clear commitment to social justice, health equity and advocacy for poorly serviced groups including people who use alcohol and drugs.

She has participated in various committees related to drugs and alcohol, such as the Partnership for Action on Drugs in Scotland (PADS), Drug Deaths Taskforce, and the Scottish Government’s National Mission for Drugs Oversight Group, and is Grantholder and Co-Deputy Convenor for the Drugs Research Network Scotland. She was made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in February 2023.

University of Stirling Profile

Current/recent alcohol-related projects

Masterton, W., Parkes, T., Park, K., Carver, H., Duncan, E., Lovell, R., Gorely, T., Mistry, T., Engstrom, S., Dumbrell, J. Intervention development and acceptability/feasibility study of a greenspace programme for mental health and problem substance use. Chief Scientist Office (CSO). 2023-2025

Connell, C., (Joint PI) Hunt, K., (Joint PI) Savinc, J., Dougall, N., Haddow, C., Kurdi, A., Watson, J., Tweed, E., Brown, A and Parkes, T. Understanding mental health and substance use service utilisation by people released from prison: A mixed-methods study. Chief Scientist Office. 2022-2024.

Parkes, T., & Carver, H. See Beyond. See the Lives. Scotland: Anti-stigma campaign. Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems. 2019-2022.

Parkes, T, Carver, H. et al. Managed alcohol programmes: Implementation of a novel intervention to help prevent infection (Covid-19) for people experiencing alcohol dependency/homelessness. Chief Scientist Office (CSO) Rapid Response Programme. £32,000. 2020 See https://www.cso.scot.nhs.uk/rapid-research-in-covid-19-programme/stgcovid/ 

Parkes, T., Matheson, C., Carver, H., Pauly, B. How might a study on Managed Alcohol Programmes be developed that is both feasible and acceptable in the UK? CSO Catalytic Grant award. £32,000. 2019-2020 

Parkes, T., Carver, H., Tyrie, P. How might the ‘Youth in Iceland Model’ for preventing substance use among young people be developed and adapted for use in Dundee, Scotland? Society for the Study of Addiction. 2019-2020. 

Parkes, T., Matheson, C., Carver, H et al. (PI) Testing the feasibility and acceptability of a peer-delivered, relational intervention for people with problem substance use who are homeless to improve health outcomes, quality of life and social functioning, and reduce harms. National Institutes for Health Research (NIHR) / Health Technology Assessment Programme. 2018-2020

Substance use related publications

Masterton, W., Parkes., T., Carver, H and Park, K. Exploring how greenspace programmes might be effective in supporting people with problem substance use: A realist interview study. BMC Public Health. 22, 1661. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-022-14063-2

Carver, H., Parkes, T., Browne, T., Matheson, C., Pauly, B. 2020. Investigating the need for alcohol harm reduction and Managed Alcohol Programmes for people experiencing homelessness and alcohol use disorders in Scotland. Drug and Alcohol Review. Published 1st October early view DOI, open access paper available here https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/dar.13178 

Price, T., Parkes, T., Malloch, M. 2020‘Discursive struggles’ between criminal justice sanctions and health interventions for people who use drugs: a qualitative exploration of diversion policy and practice in Scotland. Drugs: Education, Prevention, Policy. DOI, open access paper available here https://doi.org/10.1080/09687637.2020.1775180 

Masterton, W., Carver, H., Parkes, T., Park, K. 2020. Greenspace interventions for mental health in clinical and non-clinical populations: What works, for whom, and in what circumstances? Health and Place, 64. DOI, open access paper available here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2020.102338 

Miler, J., Carver, H., Foster, R and Parkes, T. 2020. Provision of peer support at the intersection of homelessness and problem substance use services: a systematic ‘state of the art’ review. BMC Public Health, 20. DOI, open access paper available here: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-8407-4 

Carver, H., Ring, N., Miler, J, Parkes.T. 2020. What constitutes effective problematic substance use treatment from the perspective of people who are homeless? A systematic review and meta- ethnography. Harm Reduction Journal, 17,10. DOI, open access paper available here: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12954-020-0356-9 

Parkes, T., Matheson, C., Carver, H., Budd, J., Liddell, D., Wallace, J., Pauly, B., Fotopoulou, M., Burley, A., Anderson, I., MacLennan, G., & Foster, R. 2019. Supporting harm reduction through peer support (SHARPS): Testing the feasibility and acceptability of a peer-delivered, relational intervention for people with problem substance use who are homeless, to improve health outcomes, quality of life and social functioning, and reduce harms: Study protocol. BMC Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 5; 64. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40814-019-0447-0

Stead, M., Parkes, T et al. 2017. Delivery of alcohol brief interventions in community-based youth work settings: exploring feasibility and acceptability in a qualitative study. BMC Public Health, 17, 357.

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