Ashton, Manchester

What Is SEMH?

Social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs are a type of special educational need where a child communicates through behaviour in response to unmet social, emotional, behaviour or mental health needs.

Children with SEMH needs often have difficulties in managing their emotions or their behaviour.  They can show inappropriate responses to their emotions. They can feel scared, anxious and misunderstood.

It is estimated that around 150,000 children in mainstream and special schools are experiencing SEMH challenges.

Some behaviours children with SEMH needs might display could be

  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Verbal or physical aggression
  • Lashing out
  • Self-harming
  • Withdrawing
  • Possible law-breaking such as stealing or vandalism

How is SEMH Assessed?

We provide a broad range of social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) assessments for children and young people. SEMH assessments can focus on a specific area of need, for example anxiety, or provide a general overview of a child or young person’s mental health.

Who is suitable for a social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) assessment?
Children and young people (up to age 25) would be suitable for a SEMH assessment if they:

  • Seem stressed or anxious
  • Are acting differently to normal
  • Have difficulty making or maintaining friendships
  • Wet the bed beyond the age of 6 years old
  • Refuse to go to school
  • Are displaying risk-taking and dangerous behaviour
  • Suffer from mood swings
  • Have sleep difficulties
  • Have existing mental health concerns
  • Have a diagnosis of a mental health condition

Those at an increased risk of developing a mental health condition; e.g.

  • looked after status
  • trauma
  • neglect
  • bereavement
  • victim of bullying
  • change in family circumstances
  • family history
  • neurodiversity
  • physical disability.