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Max Birchwood


Max Birchwood is professor of Youth mental health at the University of Birmingham.

He pioneered the concept and practice of early intervention in psychosis in the UK and internationally. He opened the UK’sfirst Early Intervention in Psychosis service in 1994, informed by these conceptual innovations which he translated into the mental health policy framework for the UK government as part of the UK NHS ‘National Plan’. The service has been replicated with over 140 teams across the country. He leads the national evaluation of these services. Max was awarded the ‘Richard Wyatt award’ for ‘outstanding contribution to early psychosis research and treatment’, by the IEPA. He has led the development of youth focused mental health services in the UK, and was clinical director of ‘Youthspace’ in Birmingham.

He has also undertaken leading edge research into the application of CBT to psychosis: his RCTs in acute psychosis  and in reducing harmful compliance with command hallucinations  are regarded as breakthrough trials and have been incorporated into UK NICE guidelines. He has also undertaken extensive work developing the cognitive model of ‘voices’, particularly the role of appraisals of voices’ power in driving affective dysregulation and compliance with voice commands. Max Birchwood has published over 200 papers, books etc and his current grant income exceeds £5M.

Max is a keen Skier and Saxophone player and follows his hometown team Manchester United with a religious fanaticism!