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Our strategy

How our closing the gap strategy will support children and young people to achieve their potential.

One in five young people in England has a probable mental health disorder, but less than a third of those who seek support receive it.

To ensure all children and young people get the right support at the right time, we need to close that gap.

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We’re closing the gap

Our five-year Closing the Gap strategy sets out our plan to close gaps in science, knowledge and implementation to build the mental wellbeing of the next generation.

We’ll close gaps in science by deepening our understanding of what causes mental ill health and what solutions work best for different groups.

We’ll close gaps in implementation by testing new approaches, and connecting professionals and communities to improve access to support.

We’ll close gaps in knowledge by building tools, training and networks to develop the skills of everyone who impacts children and young people’s lives.

Delivering in these three areas will enable us to intervene sooner, prevent mental health problems before they develop and support all children and young people to reach their potential.

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Our manifesto: Thinking differently

One way that we’re closing the gap is by calling on political parties, policy makers and funders to think differently.

In our first ever manifesto, we’ve created a five-point plan to advocate for a renewed focus on prevention and early intervention.

How we'll deliver our strategy

We need to adapt in order to evolve. To achieve our goals and close the gap in mental wellbeing, we need to create the conditions for our people to thrive and our organisation to succeed.

  • Our commitment to diversity

    Our EDI strategy will help us become an organisation enriched by diversity, enabling us to better understand and meet the needs of all children, young people and families.

  • Participation at Anna Freud

    Our Participation Strategy is our commitment to listen to and learn from the voices of children, young people, parents and carers in all aspects of our work. 

  • Carbon reduction plan

    Climate change has a profound negative impact on all of us, and on mental health, so we’re committed to reducing our emissions and achieving net zero by 2030.  

How you can help us deliver this strategy

Collaboration is at the heart of what we do. To close the gaps, we need continued support and input from funders, partners, political parties, policy makers, and from children and young people themselves.

  • Support us

    Support us

    Big ideas need significant investment. Support us with a one-off donation or become an Anna Freud Pioneer and join a community of like-minded supporters.

  • Become and Champion (1) (1)

    Become a champion

    Make your mark on the work we do by joining our Champions programme for young people with experience of mental ill health, and their parents and carers.

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    Support our manifesto

    We’re asking political parties, policy makers and funders to close the gap in children and young people’s mental health through a renewed focus on prevention and early intervention.