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Anna Freud CEO recognised in King’s Birthday Honours

Professor Peter Fonagy has been awarded with a CBE for services to mental health care for children and young people.


The King’s annual Birthday Honours list recognises the remarkable public service of individuals from across the UK in a range of sectors. After being awarded Officer the British Empire (OBE) in 2013, Anna Freud’s CEO Professor Peter Fonagy has now also been honoured as a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for his outstanding contribution to the field of mental health. CBE is the highest-ranking Order of the British Empire award, followed by OBE and then MBE.

Peter has been Anna Freud’s CEO for nearly twenty years and, during this time, has worked tirelessly to improve the mental health of children and young people, always guided by their lived experiences and the latest in science and evidence.

He first encountered Anna Freud – which has been supporting children and young people for over 70 years - as a teenager. After leaving Hungary in 1967 and being separated from his family, Peter experienced depression and was supported by the organisation through therapy.

Inspired by the care he received, Peter went on to train as a clinical psychologist and a child and adult psychoanalyst. He has dedicated his life to thinking differently about the mental health of children and young people. Peter’s ground-breaking research combined with his passion has influenced treatment and policy for children and young people's mental health across the UK and beyond.

His research interests include the development of attachment relationships and mental health conditions, and he has pioneered psychological therapies for severe and persistent mental disorders such addressing self-harm, suicide and aggression. His findings have influenced social policy on early childcare, adoption and fostering and the psychological treatment of severe and persistent mental disorders.

Along with leading Anna Freud, Peter is also Head of the UCL Division of Psychology & Language Sciences and is Senior National Clinical Adviser on Children and Young People's Mental Health for NHS England.

Peter has won numerous lifetime achievement awards including from the British Academy, the World Association for Infant Mental Health and the British Psychological Society.

Professor Peter Fonagy said: “It is wonderful to be recognised, but this recognition truly belongs to the many colleagues whose brilliance, support, and kindness have enabled any achievement. I am deeply grateful for the award. Working to address children’s mental health issues that so many, including myself, have struggled with has been my life's privilege.”

About Anna Freud

Anna Freud is a mental health charity and we’ve been supporting children and young people for over 70 years. We listen to and learn from their diverse voices, and integrate this with learnings from our science and practice to develop and deliver mental health care. This holistic approach has world-changing potential – our training, schools support, networks, partnerships and resources equip those who impact children and young people’s lives with the knowledge and skills to support their mental health.