Richard Velleman

Senior Research Fellow

Research Area

Research and publishing – I have an extensive research and publishing history in areas including the epidemiology and treatment of substance misuse; the effects that problem drug-taking and alcohol misuse has on families as a whole, and the impact of parental substance misuse on the children in these families; the topic of parental mental ill health and the effects of this on their children; on a variety of childhood mental health difficulties; on a number of aspects of counselling and psychotherapy; and on mental health and addiction services development.  I have developed theory and practice related to resilience in children who have lived within problem families; and related to adult affected family members dealing with the addiction problems of a close relative.  I have published 15 books, as well as more than 160 published refereed academic papers and scholarly chapters. I have been awarded research income from a range of international and national funders, including the EU, the Governments of Italy, Mexico and Australia, Grand Challenges Canada, and (in the UK) the Home Office, Department of Health, Scottish Executive, a number of NHSE Regions, and many Research Councils and National Charities, including the MRC, the Mental Health Foundation, the Alcohol Education & Research Council and Alcohol Research-UK.


NHS senior management – I held Director or Board level posts within NHS mental health services between 1994 and 2003;

Child Protection proceedings – I have served as an Expert Witness in child protection cases relating to parental substance misuse or parental mental health problems on more than 40 occasions;

and National and International policy: Nationally, I was appointed by the UK Home Secretary as a member of the Alcohol Education and Research Council (now Alcohol Research UK), for two terms of office (1998 – 2001; and 2001 – 2004); I was a founder in 1984 of Alcohol Concern, the government-funded National alcohol agency, and served on its National Executive until 1991. I have been an adviser to the Home Office; to the Department of Health on NHS matters; a member of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Programme Advisory Board on Alcohol and Drugs; a member of the NSPCC External Expert Reference Group on their major project on ‘Physical abuse in high risk families’. Internationally, I have advised Governmental bodies in Australia, Mexico and Italy and have worked extensively with the European Union as an advisor over drug prevention. Recently I was a member of the Scientific Committee for the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA); and an advisor to the European Union over drug prevention; I was a member of the EU project ‘Minimum Quality Standards in Drug Demand Reduction EQUS’; and was the Vice-President of ENCARE. Currently, I am a co-founder, trustee and treasurer of the charity AFINet (Addiction and the Family International): an international network of professionals concerned about the impact of addiction-type problems on close family and friends; and a Senior Research Fellow in India with the Sangath Community Health NGO, Goa, India.