Open Door’s history

Transforming young lives through better mental health for over 45 years.

In 1975 a group of local Clergy decided to tackle the problem of ‘rowdy youths’ disrupting their youth clubs. They approached Anthony Cantel, (then a youth worker, and later a psychoanalyst), who recognised that these young people needed something else. A few hundred pounds was secured from Haringey Council and the Hornsey Young People’s Advisory and Consultation Service began in a room within a Crouch End church hall. Young people flocked to the small room seeking help for a range of difficulties and it soon became clear that a larger space was needed.

On April 5th 1976 in a derelict former upholstery shop in Middle Lane, Open Door Young People’s Consultation Service was officially launched. A few years later, a donation from John Paul Getty Jnr. enabled Trustees to purchase the lease and to secure Open Door as a welcoming space dedicated to improving the mental health and life chances of young people in the heart of the community.

Open Door continues to operate from its original Crouch End base and in 2013 a new service was opened in Tottenham. We also now deliver therapy services in secondary schools and since the Covid pandemic, we are also able to offer appointments online.

Nearly five decades on, Open Door continues to work tirelessly to improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing of young people in their transition through adolescence to adulthood. We are helping more young people than ever before and offering a wider range of therapies as well as therapeutic support to parents and carers and consultation to others working in the field of adolescent mental health.