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We respond to the Labour Party's 2024 General Election win

It's essential that the Labour Party now engages directly with young people to create lasting change to mental health.

Day treatment

In response to the Labour Party winning the 2024 General Election, Professor Peter Fonagy CBE, Chief Executive of Anna Freud, comments on the incoming government's potential impact on children and young people’s mental health:

"We welcome the incoming government and are eager to collaborate with both new and returning MPs to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people throughout the UK. Labour's campaign included several pledges that, if realised, could significantly improve current services and support systems. This includes increasing mental health support within schools and communities, the introduction of a Teacher Training Entitlement for best practice updates, and measures to address the lengthy waits many currently face for mental health services.

“Labour’s promise to reform the Mental Health Act to better respect patient autonomy and reduce inequalities is particularly promising. This is a crucial step towards addressing the overdue needs of individuals with autism and learning difficulties, as well as tackling racial disparities in mental health treatment.

“The incoming government has also expressed a commitment to early intervention, which is encouraging, but more detailed policies and a robust strategic approach are needed. As outlined in Anna Freud’s Thinking Differently manifesto, we’re calling for a unified mental health prevention strategy and the establishment of a cross-government task force. This task force would assess the impact of all government policies on the mental health of children and young people, ensuring their voices are heard and actively considered.

“It is essential that the Labour Party commits to engaging directly with young people. Their voices must be heard and decisions about them should never be made without them.”

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.