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Social, Emotional And Mental Health

Social, Emotional And Mental Health 

What is Social, Emotional And Mental Health? 

Social, Emotional And Mental Health (also known as SEMH) is when a young person has trouble managing their emotions and their behaviours. A child with SEMH needs might present as being quite quiet and withdrawn, or they might show disruptive and out-of-control behaviours. These behaviours are responses to underlying mental health needs.  

What Are Some Signs of A Young Person with SEMH Needs?

It is important to note that every child is different, and if you notice a child acting in a way that is unusual compared to their typical behaviour, it should be observed. Here are some of the main signs: 

  • Mood changes 
  • Disruptive or anti-social behaviour 
  • Emotional outbursts 
  • Self-harm or desire to self-harm 
  • Petty crime such as theft or truancy  
  • Anger that can be expressed through the desire to harm others.  

What Are Some Helpful Strategies?

There are a few things that can be done in the classroom to help children who are struggling with their social, emotional and mental health: 

  • Try sitting the child next to someone who is more settled 
  • Understand their triggers, and put measures in place to avoid those 
  • Set tasks with short and clear instructions, clear goals and timescales.  
  • Make an effort to praise the student for their positive behaviours. 
  • Send positive messages home, as well as the negative ones.  
  • Allow the pupil to remove themselves from the classroom if they become wound-up or anxious.  

 Some further resources can be found here

Where Does BehaviourWatch come into it?

BehaviourWatch is in use by SEN schools both nationally and internationally to efficiently record critical data to help institutions clearly identify patterns and answer vital questions, such as “Is pupil X’s behaviour a challenge every Monday? Does pupil X display negative behaviour during every period 4? When is pupil X showing positive behaviour? Is the library causing pupil X a challenge? Does pupil X have a challenge with a particular member of staff? What interventions are helping reduce negative behaviour? Is medication impacting behaviour?”.

Each system is custom built to match existing policies and processes to support SEN schools with all aspects of behaviour management and can include SEMH assessment, EHCPs and intervention tracking to improve outcomes.

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