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What is Social, Emotional and Mental Health?

Social, Emotional and Mental Health (MESH) is the area of health that includes the ability to express needs, wants and emotions in a positive way, manage anger and conflict and deal appropriately with frustrations. It involves practicing life skills, making responsible decisions, developing good character, following a plan to manage stress and being resilient during difficult times.

Examples of Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs, which are listed in the SEND Code of Practice, include:

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Self-harming and substance misuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Attachment disorder
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Attention deficit hyperactive disorder

How do we implement this within the school?

At Rabbsfarm Primary School we support children’s MESH needs in a number of ways as they are a key component of children’s healthy development and critical in learning and meeting developmental milestones. 

High Quality Teaching

At Rabbsfarm we have a clear process in how we support children social-emotional difficulties in class, including how we manage the effect of any disruptive behaviour. All staff has had training on how to support MESH in the classroom, for instance training on anxiety and attachment, Driekurs behavioural model and Zones of Regulation, ensuring all staff use consistent language and can effectively support children’s MESH needs.

All classrooms are equipped with resources to support MESH, such as Zones of Regulation posters so children and staff can use visuals to support how children are feeling and regulate themselves in an appropriate way.

Zones of Regulation:
This resource was developed by Leah Kuypers, an occupational therapist, to help children gain skills in emotional and behavioural regulation. Children categorise feelings, facial expressions, emotional terms and behaviours into different ‘zones’ so they can learn how to recognise when they are (and others are) in  different zones. Children learn problem solving, alerting and calming strategies to regulate themselves effectively. They also learn perspective taking skills and understand how others see and react to behaviour. 

How can I support at home?

If you think your child might need help with their social, emotional and mental health needs at home you can support them in the following ways:

  • Recognise when your child may be anxious, worried stressed or experiencing other MESH difficulties to see what triggers this behaviour (please see image on how to spot anxiety)
  • You can model on yourself about how you feel and how to address it “I am feeling stressed because… I think what would help me is…”
  • Anxiety is contagious so try to be calm, consistent and highlight positives
  • Providing warmth makes others feel secure and it is important to be understanding and reassuring
  • Try to challenge anxious or negative thinking that the child may be having in a supportive coaching way. For instance by asking “What is your evidence for that?”, “will it always be like that?”, “Are there   any other explanations?” and “What is the worst that could happen?”
  • Using worry diaries at home consistently and at a set time
  • Listening to relaxing music or meditations, such as that from mindfulness

Useful links:

This link from the NHS explores strategies on how to support a child with anxiety: 


This link is for Youth Access, which is an advice and counselling network: 



This link is for Hillingdon Mind who work closely with members of the community and offer a variety of support: 



This link is the Family Information Directory for Hillingdon and outlines a variety of support which can be offered for your family and children:




If you would like any further information on the MESH support we offer, please contact
Sara Daly, the schools SENCo, on 

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