Social, Emotional and Mental Health
What are Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs?
Children may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or distressing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.
Indicators of difficulties:
Children with SEMH difficulties may display passive behaviours such as:
- Low mood
- Being withdrawn
- Avoiding risks
- Unable to make choices
- Low self-worth
- Refusing to accept praise
- Failure to engage
- Poor personal presentation
- Unable to make and maintain friendships
- Speech anxiety/ reluctance to speak
- Task avoidance
Children with SEMH difficulties may display active behaviours such as:
- Challenging behaviours
- Mood swings
- Physical aggression
- Verbal aggression
- Perceived injustices
- Disproportionate reactions to situations
- Difficulties with change/transitions
- Eating issues
- Lack of empathy
- Lack of personal boundaries
- Poor awareness of personal space
Support in School
We have very comprehensive support in school for children with SEMH. Our Mental Health Lead, Mrs Bryan, facilitates a wide range of group and individual support for our children including check-in sessions and 1:2:1 HOPE therapy sessions. We have a team of Level 2 mental health champions at school and staff have regular training to ensure that they can support the needs of our children.
We have taken a consistent approach to 'behaviours for learning' in our classrooms and this means that every adult will have the same routines and rules. This can help children with anxiety because they know that they are going to be treated the same way regardless of which adult they talk to in school.