Mental health needs in schools for emotional, behavioural and social difficulties


  • Latha Hackett,

  • Louise Theodosiou,

  • Caroline Bond,

  • Claire Blackburn,

  • Freya Spicer,

  • Rachel Lever

Louise Theodosiou
The Winnicot Centre
195-197 Hathersage Road
Manchester M13 0JE


Within the UK, around 10% of children have mental health problems, but this is likely to be higher among certain specific populations. Children and young people attending provisions for social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) are a particularly vulnerable group whose mental health needs are under-researched. The authors, Latha Hackett, Louise Theodosiou, Freya Spicer and Rachel Lever of the Winnicott Centre, Manchester, Claire Blackburn who is a clinical psychologist and Caroline Bond of Manchester University conducted a study which involved all pupils in two schools for children with SEBD. The views of parents and teachers were sought for a sample of 71 children. The Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire and a supplementary questionnaire were used to gain a broad picture of the mental health needs of this group and the services required. The findings from these questionnaires indicate a much higher than national level of perceived mental health difficulties within this population. This piece of research highlights that both teachers and parents identified a need for professional support, from education, social care, health and other services. These findings have implications for future commissioning of services.