The University of Birmingham has a long history at the forefront of mental health innovations and service developments. In 1954 we carried out the first trial of Chlorpromazine as a treatment for schizophrenia. Birmingham was the first city to implement Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) services for young people in the UK (1994), in parallel with our partners in Melbourne. Findings from Birmingham were translated into the national mental health policy framework (2001).
In partnership with the NHS, we developed perinatal mental health services (1985) as well as one of the first in-patient mother and baby units (1992): a model now taken up nationally and internationally. This partnership also delivered innovations in the development, evaluation, and implementation of assertive outreach, group psychotherapy, liaison psychiatry, and street triage services. More recently, our clinical staff supported the development of the first UK youth-specific 0-25 mental health service, bridging problems in transitions between traditional child and adult services, to provide care and support at the age when most mental health problems begin, and when prevention may be possible. The NHS Long Term Plan (2019) highlights the intention for the NHS to extend youth mental health services to ages 0-25, bringing the rest of the country in line with an approach pioneered in Birmingham.
By building an evidence base and supporting innovative collaborations through its Institute for Mental Health, it aims to influence policy and practice and improve the care and outcomes for young people suffering from mental ill health.
Meet the team at the Institute for Mental Health