The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, has officially opened the Kantor Centre of Excellence in London today. The Duchess of Cambridge has been Patron of the Anna Freud Centre since 2016. The Anna Freud Centre reaches over one million children in schools and tries to reduce the burden of mental health difficulties children can face. The new centre will bring practitioners, researchers and young people together for the first time, to improve mental health services for children and families.
Professor Peter Fonagy, chief executive of the Anna Freud Centre, said having various departments together in the new building was crucial. He said: “This is a game changer, and I hope it’s a game changer for child mental health. We are driving forward a change that is urgently needed because one in eight children and young people have a mental health problem at any one time – that’s 1.25 million in England alone.”
Her visit ran over by more than 30 minutes as she met supporters, staff and donors and also spent time with pupils and their parents and grandparents at the charity’s school within the new building. The Duchess told the guests, “We are all here today because we care so much about transforming the mental health of children, young people and their families.
“I have learnt so much about early childhood development and the importance of support for parents through your work here at the Anna Freud Centre – this is something I really do care about.
“The ambition for the new Kantor Centre of Excellence is hugely inspiring. The bringing together of research, education, practice and policy, all in one place, will take Anna Freud Centre’s mission to the next level.
“It is testament to what can be achieved when people work together to realise a shared vision.”