Emma Adams

Emma Adams – Mental Health Research Fellow linked to our Inequalities and Marginalised Communities theme.

Emma currently holds an NIHR Doctoral Fellowship and is no longer directly supported by the NIHR ARC NENC although she remains an engaged member of the ARC community.


Emma previously worked at a mental health hospital in Ontario, Canada in research and practice roles. During this time, she engaged with stakeholders from different sectors alongside members from Indigenous, homeless, and substance misuse populations to identify research and service-based mental health priorities. Emma worked on a large qualitative evaluation study within the forensic mental health wards (88 interviews with staff) and was the lead for various system-level mental health initiatives including service mapping, regional opioid strategy, coordinate care model development, and digital mental health initiatives.

Before joining the ARC NENC, Emma was a Pre-doctoral Fellow in the NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR) based in Fuse (the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health) at Newcastle University. In this role, she obtained over £850,000 in funding: three as a PI (total: £145,612), one as co-PI (£351,212) and three as co-applicant (total: £385,430). Working with Experts by Experience (people with lived experience of substance use, mental ill-health, and/or homelessness), Emma has led a study exploring access to community-based mental health and substance use support for people experiencing homelessness in North East England. She was also involved with several other research projects around homelessness, public mental health, inequalities, and substance use.

Areas of interest

Emma’s research focuses on homelessness, mental health (including public mental health) and substance use, and she can help you with:

  • Qualitative research methods
  • Public and patient involvement (specialist knowledge in homelessness, substance use, and mental health)
  • Research in voluntary organisations

Planned work as an ARC Mental Health Fellow

As an ARC Mental Health Fellow, Emma will continue to build on her current homeless and mental health research portfolio. This will include disseminating findings from work undertaken during her previous fellowship, undertaking a systematic review around trauma during experiences of homelessness and its impact on mental health, co-leading a national evaluation around what worked well and less well from implementing the Everyone In for improving physical and mental health outcomes (including substance use), alongside other ongoing studies.

This ARC Mental Health Fellow allows her to continue working closely with individuals with lived experience of homelessness and those who support them, while supporting her to produce high-quality impactful publications and communication. All of this will assist her in achieving her mid-term career goal of leading research around homelessness and mental health.

Get in touch

Twitter: @AdamsEmmaAudrey

Email: [email protected]

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7536-0658

Recent publications

  • Muir C, Adams EA, et al. A Systematic Review of Qualitative Studies Exploring Lived Experiences, Perceived Impact, and Coping Strategies of Children and Young People Whose Parents Use Substances. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. 2022; 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/15248380221134297
  • Redgate S, Spencer L, Adams EA, et al. A realist approach to understanding alliancing within Local Government public health and social care service provision. European Journal of Public Health. 2022; ckac172, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckac172
  • Widnall E, Adams EA, Plackett R, Winstone L, Haworth CMA, Mars B, Kidger J. Adolescent Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic and School Closures and Implications for Mental Health, Peer Relationships and Learning: A Qualitative Study in South-West England. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(12):7163. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127163
  • Widnall E, Winstone L, Plackett R, Adams EA, Haworth CMA, Mars B, Kidger J. Impact of School and Peer Connectedness on Adolescent Mental Health and Well-Being Outcomes during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Longitudinal Panel Survey. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(11):6768. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116768
  • Adams EA, Parker J, Jablonski T, Kennedy J, Tasker F, Hunter D, et al. A Qualitative Study Exploring Access to Mental Health and Substance Use Support among Individuals Experiencing Homelessness during COVID-19. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2022;19:3459. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063459.
  • Joyes EC, McGowan LJ, Adams EA, Paisi M, Burrows M, Shabaninejad H, et al. (2021). Exploring interventions to improve the oral health and related health behaviours of adults experiencing severe and multiple disadvantage: qualitative study with stakeholders. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(22). DOI: 10.3390/ijerph182211755
  • McGowan LJ, Joyes EC, Adams EA, Gavin R, Coyte A, Richmond C, et al. (2021). Investigating the effectiveness and acceptability of oral health and related health behaviour interventions in adults with severe and multiple disadvantage: Protocol for a mixed-methods systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (21). DOI: 10.3390/ijerph182111554
  • Adams EA, Parker J, Jablonski T, Kennedy J, et al. (2021). ‘It’s been up and down’: a qualitative study exploring the perspectives on living through COVID-19 for individuals who experience homelessness. The Lancet, 398, S6 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(21)02549-6
  • Harland JM*, Adams EA*, Boobis S, Cheetham M, Wiseman A, & Ramsay SE. (2021). Understanding the life experiences of people with multiple complex needs: peer research in a health needs assessment. The European Journal of Public Health, DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckab142 (*joint first authors)
  • Duncan F, Baskin C, McGrath M, Coker J, Lee C, Dykxhoorn J, Adams EA, et al. (2021). Community interventions for improving adult mental health: mapping local policy and practice in England. BMC Public Health, 21, 1691 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-11741-5
  • Perry R, Adams EA, Harland J, Broadbridge A, Giles EL, McGeechan GJ, O’Donnell A, & Ramsay SE. (2021). Exploring high mortality rates among people with multiple and complex needs: a qualitative study using peer research methods. BMJ Open, 11:e044634. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-044634