The Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) Service is part of the Specialist Education Service.
What we do
Children and young people with additional social, emotional and mental health needs may struggle to access or engage with learning. We work with mainstream schools to help them better understand the needs of pupils with additional SEMH needs and how they can be best supported.
The SEMH needs of individual pupils may present in a variety of ways, including:
- Being withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging or disruptive behaviour
- Being anxious or low
- Difficulties with attachments
- Difficulties with attention
We help schools, parents/carers and pupils (where appropriate) to develop support plans to help pupils attend, access and engage in school fully and safely. As part of this, we complete observations, model strategies to school staff and offer advice and guidance. We may work directly with pupils as appropriate.
We are a team of specialist teachers who support teachers in schools. We are not therapists, counsellors or medical mental health practitioners and whilst we do work with those services when they are involved, we cannot offer this level of specialist medical input should it be needed.
We work closely with the other specialist education services, when required, as sometimes children and young people with social, emotional and mental health needs also have needs in other areas such as cognition and learning or communication and interaction. We also work closely with a wide range of other services such as Early Help, Education Welfare and Health.
How to access our service
If you are concerned about your child’s social, emotional or mental health needs, we would encourage you to talk to your school in the first instance to find out what support is already being offered. In all cases we would expect schools to talk with parents and carers first about their child’s additional needs and what can be done to support them before referring to us for additional support.
However, as soon as a child or young person is identified as having additional social, emotional or mental health needs, schools can seek advice and guidance at one of our weekly Inclusion Support Meetings. This does not require a referral to be completed but we would expect schools to have gained your permission before this discussion takes place.
If it is felt that greater support is required then, after seeking your agreement, your child’s school can make a full referral to us. Schools can refer to us using the Inclusion Service Referral Form. Referrals are not accepted from parents or practitioners outside of schools.
We are a needs-led service so a diagnosis is not needed for support at an Inclusion Support Meeting or for a full referral.
Amy Jefford, Head of SEMH Service
[email protected] / 01473 264821]