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Anna Freud

Our vision

Our vision is a world where all children and young people are able to achieve their full potential. A world in which they and their families get support that is designed with their input, available at the right time, and meets their needs, so that they can develop their emotional and mental health.

Our mission

Our mission is to close the gap in wellbeing and mental health by advancing, translating, delivering and sharing the best science and practice with everyone who impacts the lives of children and families..

We will achieve this in three ways:

1. Closing gaps in science. We will work to understand and tackle the root causes of mental illness, confronting how and why mental health problems emerge in children and young people– and understanding their nature and impact. We will approach gaps in the science as a collaborative project, listening to lived experience and widening public participation in research to help achieve scientific breakthroughs.

2. Closing gaps in implementation. We will design, test and expand new approaches, interventions and models. We will improve the effectiveness of how help is experienced by children, families and communities. We will help to transform the systems around them – designing the architecture, making the connections and improving how all those involved work together to maximise their impact, so that access to help does not depend on social, ethnic or economic background or geographic location.

3. Closing gaps in access to knowledge. We will distil, translate and disseminate knowledge about what works. We will build tools, provide training and host peer support networks for parents, carers, professionals and policy makers – growing the confidence, skills and understanding of everyone who has an impact on the lives of children and families.

Our values

Compassion. We strive to empathise with the experiences and feelings of others, reflecting constantly and with humility to honour the trust we are given.

Inclusivity. Children, young people, and their families are at the heart of everything we do. We listen and learn from them, and from those who support them in education, social care and health, and across statutory, voluntary and community services.

Collaboration. We maximise our impact by working in partnership with others, learning from them and sharing our knowledge, expertise and experience.

Creativity. We are imaginative in how we build new understanding, strengthen relationships and develop our skills as the foundation of excellent practice.

Equity. We strive for fairness and adjust our approach to help towards addressing the inequalities that exist in society today, recognising that not everyone starts in the same place. Read more about our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. 

Courage. We experiment and pioneer, accepting that we will sometimes get things wrong, and that is part of how we learn.

Integrity. We act with honesty and integrity, guided by evidence, while keeping in mind what science cannot tell us. These values will underpin everything we do, our external and internal relationships, our programmes and organisational structure.