Supporting Children With SMH

Children with semh may struggle to form relationships or to engage positively in educational settings like the classroom. Their behaviours can be challenging, disruptive or disturbing and reflect their underlying mental health challenges such as anxiety or depression. National data suggests that they are at greater risk of leaving school without qualifications, being stuck in a cycle of unemployment, developing drug problems and becoming homeless or vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

Building Resilience: Promoting Mental Health in SEMH Contexts

These behavioural difficulties can be the result of a complex range of factors – including adverse childhood experiences, family circumstances, stress, anxiety, depression, illness, trauma and neglect. However, these issues aren’t always understood or addressed and this can lead to poor outcomes for children with semh.

Identifying and providing support for these needs is the responsibility of all school staff. This includes teachers, pastoral staff and parents/carers. It’s also crucial to ensure that any pupil who shows concerns of a mental health issue is referred to external professionals as quickly as possible.

In schools, supporting pupils with semh can be as simple as offering one-to-one counselling or creating nurture groups. Using self-help resources that teach social and emotional skills, such as planning, coping and resilience, is another key strategy. It is also important to encourage pupils to embrace different learning opportunities outside of the classroom, such as gardening or visiting a local place of work. Seeing that there is life beyond the classroom can help to build the confidence of children who have difficulty engaging with education.

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