Social, Emotional, and Mental Health guidance

Helping children and young people to access the right support at the right time.


Our new and updated Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) guidance provides families, professionals and young people with clear information and advice on where, how, and when children and young people can access support for the mental health issue they are experiencing.

We received feedback from families and professionals about the challenges they faced when a child needed support. These challenges included understanding what the right service or support was, and whether a child met the criteria for a support service.

In response to this feedback, we wanted to simplify the information and advice to ensure children and young people could access the right support at the right time.

Our updated SEMH guidance includes quick reference guides for 5-16-year-olds, as well as detailed information on areas of concern such as anxiety, depression and eating difficulties. The guidance also includes self-help resources, advice for young people to read themselves, and contact details and criteria for support services.

Stuart McDowell, Project Manager, said:

“It’s great to hear that families and professionals are finding the guidance useful, and we’re grateful for the support and feedback from residents and our partners. We understand the importance of providing clear and simple advice which everyone can access, and we hope our new guidance can help young people and families get the right support they need at the right time.”

Find out more and read the social, emotional, and mental health guidance.

If you have any questions, please contact

This project is delivered in partnership by Portsmouth City Council, Solent NHS Trust, and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board.

Find out more about mental health support and services in Portsmouth.