Social and Emotional Mental Health


Guston Church of England Primary School is committed to supporting children's mental health. We offer a range of support in school which is detailed on the school provision plan. The school was part of the Mental Healths Champion Programme. Our named mental health champion is Miss Claire Lawrence and she works closely with the Assistant Headteacher and SENCO Mrs Tracey Tee to support both staff, children and families.

Social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs are a type of special educational needs in which children/young people have severe difficulties in managing their emotions and behaviour. They often show inappropriate responses and feelings to situations.

Children can have trouble in building and maintaining relationships with peers and adults; they can also struggle to engage with learning and to cope in mainstream education. Children with SEMH will often feel anxious, scared and misunderstood.

Typical characteristics of children with SEMH can include:-

  • Disruptive, antisocial and uncooperative behaviour
  • Temper tantrums
  • Frustration, anger and verbal and physical threats / aggression
  • Withdrawn and depressed attitudes
  • Anxiety and self-harm
  • Stealing
  • Truancy

Recent figures estimate that around 150,000 children in mainstream and special schools are suffering from SEMH.

SEMH does not have to be a lifelong condition. With appropriate support children and young people can move forward and live successful lives.

SEMH difficulties can result from a range of medical and environmental circumstances, often from very early childhood but can develop at any time. It is important to recognise a child's difficulties and help them to deal with them as soon as possible. Please feel free to share any concerns you feel relevent to your child's well being. At Guston we believe a happy child is a child that can learn and grow and develop to their full potential.


Mental Health Support for Children and Parents

Kent's mental health support services are provided by North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT). Where appropriate the school and parents can refer directly for mental health support to CYPMHS,(Children and Young People's Mental Health Service). Kent CYPMHS provides emotional wellbeing and mental health advice and support for young people and their families across Kent through

  • Online self–help
  • Sign-posting to other organisations
  • Crisis support
  • Specialist assessments
  • Face to face therapy either individually or in groups
  • If you have been discharged you can refer yourself back into the service at any time.


Use the link below to find out more:



Early Help

We provide services that can be accessed at a time and place that suits families to help them to do well, stay safe and resolve problems at the earliest possible opportunity, before they become more serious.

Early Help means taking action to support a child, young person or their family early in the life of a problem or as soon as it emerges.

The help can be required at any stage in a child's life, whether it's from pre-birth to adulthood. It applies equally to safeguarding or complex needs that the family cannot deal with, or meet on their own.

The support requires agencies to work together to ensure a child and their family:

  • receives support in a timely and responsive way, so that children are safeguarded
  • educational, social and emotional needs are met
  • outcomes are good.

Early Help reflects the widespread evidence base that it is better to identify and deal with problems early rather than respond when difficulties have emerged.

Assessments and intensive support is currently offered through our Early Help Units. Whilst our open access services are delivered via our Children’s Centres and Youth Hubs, who provide universal, targeted and additional support.

Watch to find out more about our Early Help service.

Read the Early Help approach in Kent guide (PDF, 399.0 KB)


Other Useful Organisations and Links

Young Minds

Mindful Parenting

Mental Health First Aid Armed Forces



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