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Social, Emotional and Mental Health
Resources for SENCOs
SEMH stands for Social, Emotional and Mental Health. It refers to the special educational needs of children and young people who may display challenging, disruptive or withdrawn behavior due to difficulties with their social, emotional or mental health development.
Social difficulties are problems that reduce the quality of life in a society and are specific to a place, such as a nation, city, or neighborhood. These can relate to government, social behavior, social structure, environmental and economic problems. Examples include poverty, displacement, and terrorism.
Emotional difficulties refer to a range of struggles that affect a person’s ability to regulate their emotions, such as feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, or having trouble communicating their feelings. These difficulties can impact mental and physical health, social relationships, and daily functioning.
ADHD and ADD are both conditions characterised by difficulty with attention and impulsiveness. ADHD includes hyperactivity as a symptom, while ADD refers to the inattentive type of ADHD. Symptoms can persist into adulthood.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common mental health condition characterised by unwanted, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions) aimed at reducing anxiety or preventing a feared outcome.
Mental Health Difficulties
Mental health difficulties refer to a range of symptoms that affect emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, making it difficult for individuals to think, feel, and react in ways that allow them to live their lives effectively. Symptoms can include mood changes, anxiety, withdrawal, and difficulty concentrating.
Eating disorders are mental health conditions that involve unhealthy eating behaviors such as overeating or undereating, often caused by a preoccupation with weight and body shape. These disorders can lead to serious medical complications and potentially life-threatening emergencies.
Psychological disorders, also called mental illnesses, are conditions that affect a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behavior, often causing distress and impairing important areas of functioning. They include various types such as anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and psychotic disorders.
Wellbeing refers to the state of being comfortable, healthy, and happy, both physically and mentally, with good relationships and a sense of purpose, and the ability to manage stress. It includes several dimensions such as emotional, physical, and subjective wellbeing. Taking steps to improve mental health and wellbeing, such as connecting with others and practicing mindfulness, can lead to a more positive outlook on life. Overall, wellbeing is about how we feel in ourselves and how sustainable that feeling is for the future.
What is SEMH?
SEMH (Social, Emotional & Mental Health) is a term that was introduced in the Special Educational Need and Disabilities (SEND) Code of Practice in 2014. It replaced the terms BESD (Behaviour Emotional Social Development) and EBD (Emotional & Behaviour Difficulties). The new abbreviation, SEMH, was the first term to drop the word ‘behaviour’, in an attempt to emphasise that behaviour is only ever a way of communicating something more significant. In other words, referring to behaviour meant that many practitioners were focusing on the behaviours on display, rather than the needs behind the behaviour. Another key change to the term is the inclusion of mental health. Although the use of this term needs to be carefully managed (not least with the young people themselves) it has increased the focus on tackling issues which have an impact on the mental health of children and young people.
How do I access the SEN Resources?
Just a quick reminder that the resources on the following section are probably copyrighted, so please do not share them with anyone, use them in your school to help your pupils, and if anyone asks or wants a copy, direct them to the website. We are all for sharing the wealth, but I’m sure you’ll know there are people out there that will pinch stuff, charge people and hand it out. It’s not great when you can get it for free…
Anyway, enjoy the Free SENCO resources for SEMH needs. We will be adding more over time, so make sure to check back regularly to see what’s new!