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What is SEND?

Social emotional and mental health (SEMH)

Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs are one of the broad areas of need identified in the SEND Code of Practice.

This includes:

  • attention disorders
  • attachement disorders
  • anxiety
  • behaviours which reflect underlying difficultie such as being withdrawn or challenging

In the code of practice it says:


Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.


Schools and colleges should have clear processes to support children and young people, including how they will manage the effect of any disruptive behaviour so it does not adversely affect other pupils. The Department for Education publishes guidance on managing pupils’ mental health and behaviour difficulties in schools.


If your child's needs cannot be met by staff within universal settings such as schools and children’s centres then they may refer to you to additional support. You can also ask your GP to refer you or your child.

TaMHS are the Targeted Mental Health Service. They work with children and young people from 0-18 years of age with an emotional or mental health need in the Swindon area. Referrals can be made by a professional who knows you well.  This could be the school or setting, a social worker or your GP.

CAMHS are the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service.  They work with young people and their families up to the age of 18 who are struggling with mental health difficulties or emotional difficulties which are having a significant impact on social functioning and having a negative impact on their daily lives. Referrals can be made by a professional who knows you, for example a GP, social worker, teacher or a TaMHS worker if you are working with them.

Referrals to TaMHS and CAMHS go to the Single Point of Access (SPA) and staff will offer the most appropriate service to meet your needs.