Self or community approaches


The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families is exploring self or community approaches to addressing mental health issues. By self or community approaches, we mean the strategies that young people use to manage their mental health that do not involve a mental health professional.

Our work in this area is ongoing. We recently published a paper in The Lancet Psychiatry which summarises our literature review on self or community approaches to managing anxiety and depression in children and young people. The review identified over 100 different approaches to self-care in the literature but found that of these, only seven had been evaluated.

The literature review contributed to the development of an online self-care resource, which was co-produced with young people.  You can see the review process in the following self-care infographic.


The Anna Freud Learning Network has also led a series of consultation sessions with Common Room, through which we heard from young people about which self or community approaches they use, and why. Working with the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change, we discussed the findings of this work to-date at a learning event on 2nd May 2018. A report summarising this work, and the discussions that took place at our learning event, can be read here.

The Anna Freud Learning Network led further consultation and collaboration with children and young people on self or community approaches to addressing mental health issues in autumn/winter 2018-19. A synthesis of findings can viewed below or downloaded here