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Anti-stress strategies needed for exam time

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It’s nearly exam time and the kids are stressed, something can be done though, and it starts with encouraging them to ask for help and getting some strategies in place, though currently most don’t do either.

One in 10 are suffering from extreme stress when it comes to exams says a survey of 1000 people aged between 14 and 25, and despite high levels of exam stress, 66% of students said they do not seek external help to manage this stress.

Ashley de Silva, CEO of ReachOut the youth mental health service who conducted a recent survey in the area said, “Preparing for exams is about doing your best and working towards achieving a result that you are happy with. While some study stress is normal and can help improve performance, it can grow into a major problem. So, whilst trying to get the balance right between studying and self-care can be tricky, it is key to keeping stress at a manageable level.”

“We want to encourage students feeling like their stress is at an unhealthy level and affecting other parts of their life to seek support, and that could be talking to a trusted adult, their GP or visiting”

“We want to remind young people that they’re not alone at exam time and that there are many potential pathways to achieve their future goals,” he said. 

The survey also showed that internal pressure to succeed and concern about the future are key drivers of exam stress, 68% of young people said exam stress was driven by a self-generated pressure to succeed. Almost 40% said that worrying about finding a job was also feeding their stress while one third were concerned about securing their preferred tertiary course.

ReachOut has a range of resources to help young people with study plans and to get additional help if they need it, as well as forums where young people can share stories and hear from others with similar experiences.

There is a positive trend in the number of students calling on others when stress levels rise. The number of students seeking external support has increased from 28% to 34% in the last two surveys.

Parents and carers also play a key role in helping their young person cope with exam stress, and there is practical and actionable support available at ReachOut Parents. The survey showed that two-thirds of young people who got help for their exam stress sought help from a parent.

Students access: to access articles, videos, quizzes and tips.

Parent access: for information about how to support their young person.

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