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Emotional health and wellbeing

Three in five young people have experienced a mental health problem or are close to someone who has*

*Taken from a survey of over 12,000 young people aged between 11 and 19, by the mental health charity Mind in July 2019

Ensuring provision to support children and young people’s mental health is one of our top priorities. Staff in schools and settings may not be confident in their ability to support the most vulnerable children and young people. Equipping educators to confidently provide support in schools and settings has become a key focus for many of our teams.

Exclusions from school are rising and there is growing concern about the mental health and wellbeing of our children and young people. It is clear that if we are going to effectively support all children in school we need to understand the impact of adverse childhood experiences on development. We need to understand what children’s difficulties and behaviour tells us about what they need.

We work with school staff to develop strategies for managing children’s emotions and challenging behaviours and to help them support and understand feelings of anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. We can help schools deal with aggressive and disruptive pupils by managing their behaviour through passive interventions and can improve pupil engagement with learning by building their confidence and motivation. Enabling children to form good relationships, within which they learn to feel safe and secure, trust and regulate, is key to learning and development.

Guidance on supporting EHWB for staff and pupils in Devon’s schools

The Educational Psychology Service and SEMH Advisory Team have produced guidance for schools and settings on supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of staff and pupils. As a result of the ongoing interruptions to education and systemic challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, there is now a greater need for senior leaders to review their settings’ approach to emotional health and wellbeing. Whilst this document is not driven by Covid-19 specific issues, it can be used to support children, young people and adults affected by the pandemic and lockdown period.

This document provides evidence based guidance for education settings and providers on ways to effectively support the emotional health and wellbeing of staff and pupils. It is structured around a 7 Factor Model for effective emotional health and wellbeing underpinned by research, and signposts schools to resources and support from local and national organisations.

How can schools use this document?

This document can be used by school governors, senior leaders, SEN and pastoral staff to:

  • understand the current local and national context around emotional health and wellbeing
  • identify areas of strength and weakness within their current provision for the emotional health and wellbeing of staff and pupils which can feed into targeted CPD and school action plans
  • develop and embed an ‘assess, plan, do, review’ process for students with emotional health and wellbeing needs and identify resources to understand and assess need
  • identify evidence based assessments and interventions to support emotional health and wellbeing
  • understand a graduated response to emotional health and wellbeing e.g. universal, targeted and specialist support, including when referrals need to be made to other agencies
  • clarify support from and signpost to local and national organisations.

Emotional Health and Wellbeing Pathway

The Emotional Health and Wellbeing Pathway has been developed in partnership with colleagues from CAMHS, School Nursing and Public Health to support education settings to identify need, implement effective interventions and source appropriate external support in a graduated way. The Pathway follows the I THRIVE Framework which is a person centred and needs led approach to supporting mental health needs.

Guidance on supporting EHWB for staff and pupils in Devon’s school’s

The Emotional Health and Wellbeing Pathway – document