Professor Jo Smith

Jo Smith stood outside University of Worcester main reception, smiling at camera

Professor of Early Intervention (EIP) and Psychosis and Suicide Safer Project Lead

School Professors

Contact Details



BSc Psychology Hons Class 1, University of Birmingham (1981)
MSc Clinical Psychology, University of Birmingham (1984)
PhD Psychology 'Development and Evaluation of Psychosocial Interventions for Psychosis,' University of Birmingham (1990)

Jo qualified with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Birmingham in 1981, went on to complete an MSc in Clinical Psychology at the University of Birmingham in 1984. Jo commenced her PhD studies on the Development and Evaluation of Psychosocial Interventions in Schizophrenia in 1984 at Birmingham University whilst working half time as a Clinical Psychologist with the West Birmingham Family CARE Service. In this role Jo provided support to people with psychosis and their families. Jo's PhD was successfully awarded in 1990 and was the first PhD by publication awarded at the University of Birmingham.

Jo moved to Worcestershire in October 1988 to take up post as a Principal Clinical Psychologist in Rehabilitation. Jo was seconded for three years in 1989 to the role of Change Facilitator leading on the successful transition of mental health services from hospital to community based care and the subsequent closure of Barnsley Hall psychiatric hospital in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire in 1991. Later, Jo headed up an Adult Mental Health Clinical Psychology department, working in primary care and secondary mental health services before moving, in 1995, to take up post as Head of Rehabilitation in Worcester.

In 1998, Jo was seconded for 12 months to a post as a part time senior lecturer and first year tutor on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Course at University of Birmingham. Whilst there, Jo was appointed to be Worcestershire EI in Psychosis Lead and Lead for the EI and Recovery Specialty in 2002. From 2004-2010 Jo successfully applied for a part-time secondment and job share as a Joint National EIP Programme Lead with National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE). Jo continued to work as EIP Lead in Worcestershire where she remained for 13 years until her retirement from the NHS in March 2015. 

Jo joined University of Worcester as a Professor in EI and Psychosis in April 2013. In April 2018, Jo successfully applied to take on a part time role as Joint Clinical Advisor to the National Clinical Audit of Psychosis (NCAP) EIP audit (April 2018-2020) with Professor Paul French.

Current Position

Professor of Early Intervention (EIP) and Psychosis in the School of Allied Health and Community, University of Worcester, Worcester, UK. 

Jo is the Project Lead of a multiagency 'Suicide Safer' suicide prevention project at the University of Worcester which is trying to develop and support initiatives that can collectively contribute to a 'Suicide Safer' University, City and County. 

Jo is a Clinical Psychologist and a Joint National Clinical Advisor to the National Clinical Audit of Psychosis (NCAP) EIP audit (April 2018-2020)

Fields of Expertise

Psychosis, early intervention, rehabilitation and recovery services, psychosocial interventions for psychosis, family work, student mental health and suicide, zero suicide initiatives.

Teaching Interests

Jo has many years of experience in training and education. She has been involved in teaching and learning locally, nationally and internationally in a wide variety of ways ranging from lectures and training workshops for professional colleagues and students, clinical and research supervision/career mentorship, conference presentations and public lectures. 

Jo has been an invited keynote presenter at over 200 conferences in the UK and internationally including: Australia, Canada, Japan, Norway, Italy, Singapore, Wales, Ireland, Vietnam and USA. 

In September 2015, Jo was invited to co facilitate an international summit of healthcare administrators, peer leaders, and policy makers from 13 countries in Atlanta, USA to develop an International Declaration and Social Movement on Zero Suicide. The Zero Suicide: An International Declaration for Better Healthcare is due to be launched at the National Council of Behavioural Health Council conference in Las Vegas in March 2016. 

Jo has led many practical workshops on various psychological interventions including cognitive behaviour therapy for psychosis (CBTp), compliance therapy, psycho-education, family work, early signs monitoring and relapse prevention, negative symptoms ,managing motivational difficulties and vocational rehabilitation. The audiences for these workshops have primarily been clinicians working in public mental health systems internationally.

She have also led many workshops on EI practice development internationally and provided formal clinical supervision (face to face and via Skype) to EIP teams in Japan, Wales, Ireland and Nigeria. 

Mentoring and Supervision

Jo was a registered 'Applied Psychology Practice Supervisor' with the BPS (until Dec 31st 2018).

Jo was a Clinical Psychology Supervisor and an honorary Personal Tutor and Senior Lecturer on the Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programmes at the Universities of Birmingham and Coventry & Warwick (1986-2015). She was a part time Senior Lecturer and First Year Tutor on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Course at University of Birmingham (1998-1999). Jo has considerable experience of research supervision and has co-supervised 10 ClinPsyD Doctoral and Masters level thesis dissertations. She has been a Clinical supervisor since 1986. Jo enjoys supervision and has successfully supervised many Doctoral Clinical Psychology Trainees and members of staff. She has considerable experience as a  mentor.

Research Interests

Jo's research interests centre around serious mental health problems, in particular, psychosis (including first episode psychosis) and bipolar disorder. She is particularly interested in psychosocial interventions for psychosis including: early signs monitoring and relapse prevention, educational and vocational interventions, family interventions, and physical health interventions. Jo has been involved in a number of research studies focused on early intervention implementation in the UK and the evaluation of specific interventions to address the needs of young people with first episode psychosis and their families. This has included cost economic evaluation of early intervention for psychosis services in the UK.

Jo has been a co-applicant, local Principal Investigator (PI) and steering group member on a number of successful joint research bids and awards including:

  • NIHR Doctoral Research Programme funded e-sibling project an online information & peer support programme for siblings (2013-2015)
  • NIHR RfPB ENDEAVOUR multi site national EI Individual Placement Support (IPS) employment trial (2008-2011)
  • LSC/NIACE funded BACK ON TRACK 2 study which looked at strategies to promote educational recovery in early psychosis (2009-2010)
  • Welcome Foundation funded EDIE2 multi site national trial of CBT intervention with young people at risk of developing psychosis (2006-2010)
  • SDO funded EDEN plus early intervention study exploring role of medical staff and Partnerships with voluntary sector agencies in EI services (2006)
  • NIHR PGfAR funded SUPEREDEN Programme a large scale national EI outcome study exploring user and carer views of and transition from EIP services (2010-2015)

Jo was a Trial Steering Group member for the PRODIGY multi-site trial of social recovery in early psychosis (2013- 2016).

She was a Board member of the DH funded Early Intervention Cost Economic Evaluation Programme led by Professor Martin Knapp at LSE (2006-2010). I was also a Board member and co-applicant on the National Lottery funded Rethink and Young Minds UTHINK recovery learning programme for young people.(2007- 2010).

Jo has been an International consultant on the TIPS EIP Network Project in Norway and the NIMH RAISE trial of EIP Services in USA (2008-2011).

She was the Project Lead for the Health Foundation SHINE 2014 award funded SHAPE (Supporting Health And Promoting Exercise) Programme for young people with Psychosis and Bipolar Disorder based at the McClelland Centre for Health and Wellbeing and run in partnership with Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust EI Service (2014-2016). The project team were successful in securing a further Health Foundation Spreading Improvement Grant Award (2016-2018). 

Current Research Involvement:

Jo is currently involved in the following service evaluation and research projects: 

She is a co-applicant and consultant advisor on an NIHR HS&DR Programme funded study: IMPlementation of A Relatives’ Toolkit (IMPART study): Examining the critical success factors, barriers and facilitators to implementation of an online supported self-management intervention in the NHS (2016-2018) 

Jo is the family intervention trainer and supervisor on the NIHR HTA programme for Managing Adolescent first episode Psychosis (MAPS) feasibility Study: a randomised controlled trial of CBT vs antipsychotics vs both in 14-18 year olds

Jo is the local PI for the PLUS study, a European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme randomised controlled trial led by Kings College London evaluating a Web-based Indicated Prevention of Common Mental Disorders in University Students in four European Countries (UK, Republic of Ireland, Austria, and Germany). University of Worcester was one of several UK trial recruitment sites.

She is the Topic Expert Member on the Trial Steering Committee for NIHR) Post doctoral research fellowship awarded funded EFFIP (E-support for Families and Friends of Individuals affected by Psychosis) randomised controlled trial of a co-produced online COPe-support online resource for carers.

Jo works as the Project Lead of a 'Suicide Safer' suicide prevention project at the University of Worcester. This project is working in partnership with National Union of Students and the James Wentworth Stanley Memorial Fund (JMMF) and has funded two PHD Studentships exploring University student suicide (2016-2019). One studentship is exploring student suicide prevention and postvention policy and practice in UK HEIs while another is exploring postvention support needs and roles for HEI staff following a student suicide. The project was shortlisted for a Times HE 2018 'Outstanding Support for Students' Award and has been identified as a best practice case example in several national guidance, student and sector publications: NUS Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Guide (May 2016): Public Health England (PHE) Suicide Prevention national guidance (November 2016); Student Minds Student living: collaborating to support mental health in university accommodation (April 2017) Universities UK Step Change framework (September 2017); Institute for Public Policy Research Not By Degrees: Improving student mental health in the UK's universities (September 2017); Universities UK and PAPYRUS 'Suicide Safer Universities' Toolkit (September 2018) . The project has also been featured extensively in local and national media including a Guardian HE article (March 3rd 2016) and a BBC News at 6pm and 10pm main item feature on student suicide (June 2018)

Jo is also a member of the  national Student Mental Health in Higher Education Research Network (SMARTEN).

Recent Publications

Please see WRAP for a full list of publications:


Lobban, F. and Appleton, V. and Appelbe, D. and Barraclough, J. and Bowland, J. and Fisher, N.R. and Foster, S. and Johnson, S. and Lewis, E. and Mateus, C. and Mezes, B. and Murray, E. and O'Hanlon, P. and Pinfold, V. and Rycroft-Malone, J. and Siddle, R. and Smith, Jo and Sutton, C.J. and Walker, A. and Jones, S.H. (2017) IMPlementation of A Relatives' Toolkit (IMPART study): An Iterative Case Study to Identify Key Factors Impacting on the Implementation of a Web-based Supported Self-management Intervention for Relatives of People with Psychosis or Bipolar Experiences in a National Health Service: A Study Protocol. Implementation Science, 12 (152). ISSN 1748-5908

Musiat, P. and Ebert, D. and Dooley, B. and Whitt, E. and Troop, N. and Schmidt, U. and Adamcik, T. and Nitsch, M. and Vinyard, Chantal and Zeiler, M. and Bonin, E. and Goerlich, D. and Tressler, R. and Gordon, G. and Wagner, G. and Dodd, A.and Karwautz, A. and Jacobi, C. and Spencer, L. and Harrison, A. and Smith, Jo and Haselgrove, M. and Potterton, R. and Sharpe, H. and Waldherr, K. and Beecham, J. and Kuso, S. (2018) Web-based Indicated Prevention of Common Mental Disorder in University Students in Four European Countries - Study Protocol for a Randomised Controlled Trial. Internet Interventions. ISSN 2214-7829

Nishida, A. and Ando, S. and Yamasaki, S. and Koike, S. and Ichihashi, K. and Miyakoshi, Y. and Maekawa, S. and Nakamura, T. and Natsubori, T. and Ichikawa, E. and Ishigami, H. and Sato, K. and Matsunaga, A. and Smith, Jo and French, P. (2018) A Randomized Controlled Trial of Comprehensive Early Intervention Care in Patients with First-Episode Psychosis in Japan: 1.5-year Outcomes from the J-CAP Study. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 102. pp. 136-141. ISSN 0022-3956

Gee B, Hodgekins J, Lavis A, Notley C, Birchwood M, Everard L, Freemantle N, Jones P, Singh S, Amos T, Marshall M, Sharma V, Smith J, Fowler D (2018) Lived-Experiences of Negative Symptoms in First-Episode Psychosis: A Qualitative Secondary Analysis Early Intervention in Psychiatry  ISSN 1751-7885 Online: 1751-7893 (In Press)

Csillag, C., Nordentoft, M., Mizuno, M. McDaid, D., Arango, C., Smith, J., Lora, A.,  Verma, S.,  di Fiandra, T., Jones, P., (2018) Early Intervention Services: From Clinical Intervention to Health System Implementation Early Intervention in Psychiatry Aug 16;12(4):757-764

Cooper, S.J. and Reynolds, G.P. and Barnes, T.R.E. and England, E. and Haddad, P.M. and Heald, A. and Holt, R.I.G. and Lingford-Hughes, A. and Osborn, D. and McGowan, O. and Patel, M.X. and Paton, C. and Reid, P. and Shiers, D. and Smith, Jo (2016) BAP Guidelines on the Management of Weight Gain, Metabolic Disturbances and Cardiovascular Risk Associated With Psychosis and Antipsychotic Drug Treatment. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 30 (8). pp. 717-748.

Lavis, A. and Lester, H. and Everard, L. and Freemantle, N and Amos, T. and Fowler, D and Hodgekins, J. and Jones, P. and Marshall, M. and Sharma, V. and Larsen, J. and McCrone, P. and Singh, S.P. and Smith, Jo and Birchwood, M. (2015) Layers of Listening: Qualitative Analysis of the Impact of Early Intervention Services for First-episode Psychosis on Carers' Experiences. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 207 (2). pp. 135-142.

Craig, T. and Shepherd, G and Rinaldi, M. and Smith, Jo and Carr, S. and Preston, F. and Swaran, S. (2014) Vocational Rehabilitation in Early Psychosis: Cluster Randomised Trial. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 205 (2). pp. 145-150.

Shiers, D. and Smith, Jo (2014) Early Intervention and the Power of Social Movements: UK Development of Early Intervention in Psychosis as a Social Movement and its Implications for Leadership. In: Early Intervention in Psychiatry: EI of Nearly Everything for Better Mental Health. John Wiley, Chichester, pp. 337-357.

External Roles


Jo was Chair of IRIS (1995-2010) and co-authored the IRIS EIP Clinical Guidelines and Service Framework (IRIS 1998, 2012). She was a member of the DH national EIP taskforce which produced the Mental Health EIP Policy Implementation Guide (2001, ch. 5) and was a joint EIP Programme Lead for England with NIMHE (2004-2010). 

Jo has been an invited EIP expert on several national expert reference and task groups including the NCCMH EIP Access and Wait Time Expert Reference Group, CCQI national EIP Audit Expert Reference Group, NHS England EIP SNOMED Expert Reference Group monitoring EIP Concordance with the NICE (2014) Quality Standards for Psychosis (QS80) and the NHS England IPS expert reference group. Jo is co-chair of the International First Episode Vocational Recovery Group (iFEVR) and was an author of the 'Newcastle Declaration' (2002), 'Early Psychosis Declaration'(2004), ‘Meaningful Lives’(2008) EIP International Consensus Statements . In March 2018, Jo was appointed as NCAP Joint Clinical Advisor to the EIP Audit in a part time job share with Professor Paul French.


Student Suicide Prevention:

Jo is a member of the Alliance of Suicide Charities (TASC). She is also a member of the international 'Zero Suicide' initiative and was co-author of the Atlanta (2016) International Declaration on 'Zero Suicide International Declaration for Better Healthcare'.

Jo was a member of the UUK Mental Wellbeing in HEI Working Group which published UUK (2017) '#Stepchange: Mental health in Higher Education'. She was also a member of the UUK Student Mental Health Task Group which published 'Minding Our Future' in May 2018. She was also a member of a UUK/PHE Student Suicide Working Group which led to the publication of ONS data specifically on HE student suicide in England and Wales in June 2018.

Jo was a member of a small national advisory group on the development and production of a 'Suicide Safer Universities' Toolkit published by Universities UK and PAPYRUS on September 4th 2018.

Membership of Professional Bodies

Fellow of the British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (FBABCP)

Formerly a Fellow of the British Psychological Society (FBPsS)