How Teachers Can Help Children With Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SMH)

Social, emotional and mental health semh refers to the range of difficulties that children and young people may have in regulating their emotions and behaviours. These challenges can lead to poor behaviour and a lack of motivation which can affect learning. Often, the roots of semh issues lie in a history of trauma or adversity. This could include being exposed to bullying or other types of abuse, parental conflict and separation, family breakdown, parental alcoholism or personality disorders, being abandoned as a child, living in poverty, physical illness, low self-esteem and many more.

Strategies for Success: Supporting SEMH Learners in Education

The symptoms of semh are diverse and can show as withdrawn behaviour, aggressive outbursts or a lack of concentration during lessons. They may not have the coping skills they need to deal with their emotions and can feel scared, anxious or misunderstood. Children with underlying SEMH issues can also have co-occurring mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression which may make their situation even more challenging.

The way in which teachers can help children with semh is to recognise their behaviour early and understand where the root causes are. It’s important to build trustful relationships with these students, communicate regularly and create a positive, supportive school environment where they can be encouraged to take risks and learn from their mistakes. Providing a safe and inclusive space where children are understood and supported is key to helping them develop resilience, develop healthy coping mechanisms and ultimately reach their full academic potential.