Tuesday 14 August 2018

Students, parents and teachers urged to look after mental health this exam season

Samaritans Ireland is advising students to put their mental well-being ahead of their grades

Samaritans Ireland urged young people to avoid putting themselves under ‘intolerable levels of pressure and stress’ (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Samaritans Ireland urged young people to avoid putting themselves under ‘intolerable levels of pressure and stress’ (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Kyle Ewald

Students, parents and teachers are being urged by Samaritans Ireland to look after their mental health this exam season.

The charity is asking those sitting exams and carers of children who are taking their Junior Certificate or Leaving Certificate this Wednesday to put their well-being ahead of their results.

“This can be an incredibly stressful time not only for the young person, but for other family members, carers and even teachers,” said Cindy O’Shea, the Regional Director for Samaritans in Ireland.

“We would urge anyone involved in exams and supporting young people with their studies to ensure students look after their emotional health. That way they are likely to cope better with the stress of exams, and achieve better too.”

As tens of thousands of students across the country prepare to sit their State exams, Ms O’Shea stressed the importance of learning to listening to others, coping strategies and accessing support during demanding times.

Samaritans offers a 24-hour anonymous service for anyone that needs help coping with emotional distress or is at risk of suicide. Trained volunteers in Samaritans branches also regularly visit schools and colleges to talk to students about the importance of emotional and mental health.

“Samaritans are here 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to offer a listening ear and emotional support to those who need us most on the phone, by text, email and in person. Anyone struggling to cope over the coming weeks does not have to suffer alone,” said Ms O’Shea.

 “The world can often seem a busy and stressful place and many young people are anxious, not only about school and their grades, but about their home life or peers. It is important that young people learn to manage their emotions, build resilience and develop their communication skills to ensure they can positively cope with difficulties they face.”

Anyone feeling overwhelmed by exam pressure, or is concerned about someone else can contact Samaritans for free from any phone on 116-123 or text 087-260-9090/email jo@samaritans.ie.

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