Social, Emotional and Mental Health
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What is Social, Emotional and Mental Health?
Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) is the area of health that includes the ability to express needs, wants and emotions in a positive way, manage anger and conflict and deal appropriately with frustrations. It involves practicing life skills, making responsible decisions, developing good character, following a plan to manage stress and being resilient during difficult times.
Examples of Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs, which are listed in the SEND Code of Practice, include:
- Anxiety or depression
- Self-harming and substance misuse
- Eating disorders
- Attachment disorder
- Attention deficit disorder
- Attention deficit hyperactive disorder
How do we support this?
At Bengeworth we support children’s SEMH needs in a number of ways as they are a key component of children’s healthy development and critical in learning and meeting developmental milestones.
High Quality Teaching
At Bengeworth we have a clear process in how we support children social-emotional difficulties in class, including how we manage the effect of any disruptive behaviour. All staff has had training on how to support SEMH in the classroom, for instance training on attachment.
All staff are equipped with resources to support SEMH, such as Zones of Regulation posters so children and staff can use visuals to support how children are feeling and regulate themselves in an appropriate way.
If a child is having difficulty with their social, emotional and mental health we provide early support by working with teachers to develop personalised strategies in class. This may include behavioural charts, sensory tool support, supporting classroom peer relationships and strategies to reduce anxiety.
We run a number of evidenced-based groups with children to support SEMH. For example ELSA and Zones of Regulation.
Some children need more individualised and personal support on a 1:1 basis. Support packages may pool together different resources at this level and recommendations may come from an Educational Psychologist to target the specific needs of the child.
How can I support at home?
If you think your child might need help with their social, emotional and mental health needs at home you can support them in the following ways:
- Recognise when your child may be anxious, worried stressed or experiencing other SEMH difficulties to see what triggers this behaviour (please see image on how to spot anxiety)
- You can model on yourself about how you feel and how to address it stressed because… I think what would help me is…”
- Anxiety is contagious so try to be calm, consistent and highlight positives
- Providing warmth makes others feel secure and it is important to be understanding and reassuring
- Try to challenge anxious or negative thinking that the child may be having in a supportive coaching way. For instance by asking “What is your evidence for that?”, “will it always be like that?”, “Are there any other explanations?” and “What is the worst that could happen?”
- Using worry diaries at home consistently and at a set time
- Listening to relaxing music or meditations, such as that from mindfulness
This link from the NHS explores strategies on how to support a child with anxiety:
This link is for Youth Access, which is an advice and counselling network:
A local group that support mental health: Mind firstname.lastname@example.org 01789 298615