Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Liam Spencer

Research Assistant

Background

I joined IHS in December 2014, and I am part of the SPARKS team (Supporting Prevention and care for Alcohol and other RisK behaviourS). Initially I worked on the NIHR programme SIPS Junior; comparing the effectiveness of a face-to-face brief intervention with an electronic brief intervention (smartphone app) designed to prevent alcohol-related harm in young people aged 14-17 years presenting at A&E.

Between June and December 2015, I worked on an independent evaluation of the NHS 111 Learning & Development Programme Phase 2; which was established to support and promote evidence-based service development for the NHS 111 service.

Recently I have been working with colleagues on two linked systematic reviews on; the longitudinal associations between mood and substance use disorders in adolescence and early adulthood, and the effectiveness of psychological interventions to address co-occurring mood disorders and substance use disorders in adolescence and early adulthood. I am also co-author on 'A Qualitative Systematic Review Exploring Roles, Risks and Social Patterns of Drinking in Later Life'. 

The current focus of my work is on two projects; PROMOTE: NE (Preventing Risks Of Mental illness Onset and Treating Early in the North East), which I was co-applicant for (funded by the Institute for Local Governance and Public Health England), to assess the need and provision of interventions to address mental health difficulties in young people across the North East. Also, ATTUNE (Understanding Pathways to Stimulant Use: A mixed-methods examination of the individual, social and cultural factors shaping illicit stimulant use across Europe).

Background
2014 - Present: Research Assistant, Newcastle University
2013 - Present: Youth Engagement Worker, YoungMinds
2013 - 2015: Children and Young People Worker, Barnardo's DAISS
2011 - 2013; 2014 - 2015: Transition Worker, Patchwork People
2010 - 2011: Young Associate, Cernis Limited
2008 - 2013: Youth Support Worker/YCAP Worker, Darlington Borough Council

Qualifications
2016 - 2018: Social Science and Health Research MSc, Newcastle University
2009 - 2014: Psychology BSc (Hons), Newcastle University

Memberships
British Psychological Society
FUSE (The Centre for Translational Research in Public Health)
IEPA Early Intervention in Mental Health

Research

Research Interests

  • Child and adolescent mental health
  • Early and preventative interventions
  • Digital/online interventions

Publications

  • Stobbart L, O'Donnell, A, Akor W, Albani, V, Brown H, Craig D, Fattakhova G, Harrison S, Kaner E, Kirkman S, Lally J, Little M, Mott D, Rice S, Robinson T, Scott J, Shaw C, Spencer L, Tandogu Z, Vaittinen A, Watson N, Whalley E, Vale L. (2015). Phase Two of the NHS 111 Learning and Development Pilot Programme: Final Report. NHS England.

Funding

  • Lingam R, McGovern R, Shucksmith J, McArdle P, Barkla X, Robalino S, Geijer-Simpson E, Spencer L, Reynolds A, Kaner E. (2015). Mental Health Issues in Children and Young People. Institute of Local Governance. £44,000.