Staplegrove Church School

'That they may have life, life in all its fullness' John 10:10

Social & Emotional Mental Health

Designated Social and Emotional Mental Health (DSEMH) Lead

Hello and welcome, my name is Susan Withers and I am the Designated Social and Emotional Mental Health Lead at Staplegrove Church School.

About me; I am a BACP Accred Counsellor and a qualified teacher.  I have been counselling children, young people and adults in Somerset for 25 years, as well as supervising other practitioners.  In addition to my vocation, I love spending time with my dogs, horses and chickens, reading, walking and drawing.  It's no wonder I have incorporated all of these into my therapy provision.


My role at Staplegrove Church School is to support us all to have good mental health and wellbeing by raising the importance of mental health.  This is achieved by developing the PSHE curriculum, focusing on Mental Health, questionnaires, Wellbeing Champions, small group work and 1 to 1 interventions and much more.  Staplegrove Church School is also one of Somerset CAMHS Trailblazer Schools.  We work in close partnership with the CAMHS Team and have been asked to take part in sharing information with the DfE.


On this page I will provide links and information to support outside of school. 

If you have any questions then please do get in touch, I work Monday mornings and all day Wednesday.


Emotional Learning Support Advisor (ELSA)

At Staplegrove Church School we are delighted that we have Ms Lauren Wilkinson as our Emotional Learning Support Advisor (ELSA).

ELSAs work with children who may need support developing their emotional vocabulary, or who have low mood, mild worries, or who are going through a period in their life where they could benefit from a little more support.  These sessions are short term and can be provided either as 1:1 support, or small group work.

All referrals for ELSA are through our SENDCo, currently Ms. D Huddy and Ms. S Thorn.  If you have any questions please contact them through email:, or telephone the school office on, 01823 337313.

Volunteeer Counsellor

At Staplegrove we have a trainee, volunteer counsellor who is offering free, confidential counselling to parents, carers, or staff.


Rachael is a BACP member.  She works on the school site every Wednesday during term time from 1pm onwards. There are three time slots:

  • 1.15pm - 2.15pm, 
  • 2.45pm - 3.45pm, 
  • 4.15pm - 5.15pm

Each session will last for one hour. If you think you would like to explore whether counselling is right for you, please contact Su Withers (SEMH Lead) either by emailing or by leaving a note in an envelope, with the office staff, with your name and a contact number. Su will contact you and invite you to have an informal chat about what to expect and answer any of your questions. Emails and notes will be collected on Wednesdays.  Additional information is available on a leaflet in reception.

Upcoming Events:

10th October 2021 World Mental Health Day

7th - 13th February 2022 Place2Be Children's Mental Health Week

9th-15th May 2022 Mental Health Awareness Week


Some useful websites: The British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists.  Useful information on therapy and how to find an accredited counsellor in your area.  The Anna Freud Centre. Their vision is a world where children and families are supported effectively.  A place to find useful advice, information and resources to support children’s mental health and wellbeing. a free educational resource on children and young people’s mental health for all adults. Quality assured information, advice and resources to help primary schools understand and promote children’s mental health and wellbeing. Confidential advice and support for those suffering with anxiety.  Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.  Lots of really useful support and information on a range of areas.