Research and Peer Engagement Programme Manager
Katy MacLeod is the Research and Peer Engagement Programme Manager at the Scottish Drugs Forum where she manages the research activity, peer research and living experience engagement work of the organisation. Her role involves working with Alcohol and Drug Partnerships and national and international partners to identify research topic areas and provide ethical and strategic input on research and evaluation activity. Her role also involves working with stakeholders to build living experience representation within drug policy and service consultations through the setting up of local and national engagement groups.
Katy has worked in a variety of front line harm reduction and recovery services in the last 15 years in both residential and community settings. Prior to working in the drugs field, she worked in the night-time economy as a DJ and promoter. These two passions led her to setting up welfare support and safer nightlife services for people attending music festivals who experience substance use, mental health or sexual health crises. Since 2009, Katy worked originally with Crew 2000 then with SDF in workforce development and research, delivering training and conducting research on a variety of drugs, mental health and sexual health related topics. She has supported the SDF peer research team to conduct research and evaluation activity on topics such as Medication Assisted Treatment, Homelessness and Substance use, Women’s Experiences of Accessing Treatment and Mental Health and Substance Use. Her published research includes a national study for the Scottish Government on ‘Motivations, Patterns, and Consequences of Use of New Psychoactive Substances” in conjunction with Glasgow University in 2016 and a study in 2020 ‘Understanding the Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Information and Support Needs of Men That Have Sex With Men Engaging in Chemsex’. More recently she has led research on Burnout Amongst Frontline Drug and Alcohol Workers and an international evaluation on Decriminalisation.
Her qualifications include a certificate in person centred counselling, a diploma in psychodynamic counselling and she has recently undertaken post graduate study in child and adolescent mental health. She is a member of British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy and currently works clinically with clients around issues such as homelessness, trauma, substance use, sexuality, and gender dysphoria and identity.