Joseph Firth Presidential Fellow, Division of Psychology & Mental Health University of Manchester

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Dr. Joseph Firth is a Presidential Fellow at the University of Manchester, U.K. His current research primarily focuses on the interface between physical and mental health in people with mental illness, having published over 100 peer-reviewed articles on this topic in the last four years alone. Notably, Dr. Firth was the Chair of the 2019 lancet commission on “Protecting Physical Health in People with Mental Illness”, and his ongoing projects seek to advance the work of this commission. Within this, Dr. Firth is particularly interested in developing novel approaches towards tackling behavioural risk factors in people with mental illness, and evaluating the benefits for physical and mental health outcomes.  

Currently, Dr. Firth is investigating how digital technologies can be used for health promotion in the early stages of mental illness, in order to reduce cardiometabolic risks and improve recovery in young people. While currently based back in his home town of Manchester (where his ongoing research is primarily conducted), Dr. Firth was previously based in Sydney, Australia, where he had worked as a Senior Research Fellow. Now he maintains active involvement in multiple ongoing projects across Australia, such as the ‘Take Charge’ physical exercise support scheme for people affected by mental illness in New South Wales and Victoria. Alongside this, he retains Honorary Fellow positions at Western Sydney University, Deakin University and The University of Melbourne, while also sitting on the panel of the World Health Organisation’s physical activity group in Geneva, Switzerland.