What is SEMH?
SEMH stands for Social, Emotional and Mental Health. This heading covers a range of needs that have in school including behaviour, attachment, self esteem, friednships and understanding and communciating emotions.
The clip below explains why it is important to maintain good mental health and what to look for if you have concerns about your child's mental health.
How can you support children in developing good social, emotion and mental health
It is really important that children witness and experience positive relationahips with both adults and children.
Spending quality time with your child completing different activties scuh as board games, crafts, baking, playing hide and seek, riding bikes all help children develop important social skills such as taking turns, sharing, how to ask for help and how to interact appropiately with peers.
It is advisable to encourage your child to not have lots of screen time e.g. televsion or tablet etc as thrse do not develop social interaction skills and can limit concentration levels.
Simple things that are easily missed such as having conversations whilst sitting at the table and eating together can make a significant difference to a childs social skills.
Children often find it very diffiuclt to recognise and communicate thier emotions. They often have a very basic understanding and use the terms happy and sad to cover a wide range of emotions.
In school when pupils encounter new emotions we speak with the about how they are feeling and why. It is very important that children know that it is ok to be upset etc as they then learn how to make themselves feel better
A useful idea is to enourage your child to set up an emotions diary. Encourage them to write in it about how they are feeling, why they are feeling this way and how they can make themselves feel better. This can be done with pupils of all ages as younger children can draw pictures or you can write for them.
Sometimes childrens emotions can become very overwhleming for them, in these situations they may often appear withdrawn or display inappropaite behaviour. During these times it is important that you:
- Remain calm
- Explain that you are there to help
- Give them time in a safe space to calm and regulate thier emotions
- Speak with them afterwards about the situation
Mental health is so important and a lot of the advice above will be really useful. It is important that children know that they can talk to trusted adults and communciate how they feel without judgement. Other simple things that can help children have good mental health are:
- Ensuring that they have plenty of sleep
- Eat healthily
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Encourage children to complete regular exercise and spend time outdoors
Mindfullness activties can also help relieve anxiety, below are some resources also yoga an dsimple activties such as colouring can really help. The most important thing is to keep talking!
If you are concerned about your child please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org