Support for children aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Mental health support at school

It is estimated that 1 in 7 children and young people between the age of 5 to 16 have a mental health need. It’s not uncommon and schools have a number of strategies in place to support students.

It may be a short term issue or one that requires support from a number of agencies and could be caused by a sudden change in the child or young persons personal situation or a short term issue that they need to work out such as worrying about an exam or problems with a bully.

You may have concerns or know of a situation that may cause your child or young person to be upset or emotional at school, such as a serious illness within the family or a family separation etc.

Talk to the school about this so they are aware of why your child or young person might be reacting in an unusual way. By doing this they will be more able to support them.

A teacher isn’t a mental health professional and can’t diagnose a problem but they can spot changes in a pupil's behaviour that may mean they need extra help, such as:

  • being disruptive
  • being anxious or worried
  • being quieter than usual
  • seeming depressed or withdrawn

If a student needs help, the teacher or pastoral support worker may speak with them first to find out what the problem is and where it is happening (at home, in school or at a club or activity) so they can help.

If the problem is serious they’ll probably suggest the student sees the school counselling service. They will try to find a solution and may contact the student’s family.

If a student’s mental health is at obvious risk, they or their family should get medical advice from their GP as soon as possible.

The Mental Health Support in Schools Teams (MHSTs) work within a number of identified schools and educational provisions offering support to children and young people who are experiencing low to moderate mental and emotional health difficulties. We work alongside school staff to promote good emotional wellbeing for all. To find out if we are working with your school and how we may be able to help go to Mental Health Support Teams in Schools (MHSTs) – CAMHS Dorset


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