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Exam helpline ready for stressed students

Nervous teenagers who are anxiously awaiting their Leaving Certificate results were warned today not to stress over their grades on their own.

An exam helpline has been set up to give help and advice to students and parents left mulling over results tomorrow morning.

More than 55,000 students around the country will learn if they made the grade -- including 117 inmates who sat the State exam while in prison, and 53 pupils who attend the ISM International School in Tripoli, Libya.

ESRI research has revealed sixth-year pupils are more stressed than ever, with many losing sleep as the pressures of study, grinds, exams and securing a college place take their toll.

Expert guidance counsellors will be on hand to provide information on third-level courses, training, the points system, rechecks and possible repeats on 1800 265 165 and 1800 946 942.

Meanwhile, HeadsUp, Rehab's mental health promotion project for young people, said help is just a text away for teenagers.

Contact details and opening hours for a range of helpline and support services are available by texting HEADSUP to 50424 or visiting www.headsup.ie.

Project manager Collette Ryan said the Leaving Cert is a time of huge anticipation and excitement for many students as they begin a more independent life.


"However, for other students, it can be a time of real distress and despair, as they worry over what the future may hold for them," she said.

"HeadsUp just wants to say to those young people who may be disappointed with their results that the Leaving Certificate is not an end in itself. There are always other routes to get to where they want to be."

Elsewhere, responsible drinking group drinkaware.ie warned teenagers to make their Leaving Cert celebrations a night worth remembering for the right reasons.

Tips include eating before you go out, pacing yourself, drinking water throughout the evening, watching your drink so it isn't spiked and staying with friends at all times.

Chief executive Fionnuala Sheehan said students whose celebrations involve some alcohol should remember to drink responsibly on nights out.