About social, emotional and mental health needs

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Social, emotional and mental health refers to children and young people with additional needs who have difficulties with managing their emotions and behaviours. This can be affected by the environment, difficult life experiences and attachment.

Some children and young people may struggle to communicate emotions verbally and can use their behaviour as a way to share feelings with the people around them. This behaviour can be challenging to those around them or may also present as withdrawing/avoidance.

Understanding the social and environmental context can be useful in identifying triggers for different emotions. This might be recognising physical sensations associated with different emotions, recognising triggers, identifying when and how to use emotion regulation strategies and building their self-esteem.

For children and young people who struggle to understand their own emotions, experiencing intense emotions can be frightening. Reassuring children and young people by normalising their experience of emotions can support them with feeling safer.

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