As mental health awareness week draws to a close, Childline have highlighted the rise in stress related calls from students sitting their exams.

May sees the start of SATs, GCSE and A level exams across the country. Pressures of targets, expectations, workload and the natural act of comparing themselves to their peers have contributed to the 11% rise in calls across two years.

Childline revealed that 3,135 young people called the helpline in 2016-2017 and the results displayed an increase in 16-18 year olds sitting their A levels.

The news comes after reports again this year that primary students were left in tears after their maths test this week. Whilst teachers reported a ‘kinder’ reading paper compared to last year, many were ‘shocked’ by the final maths test. Others reported it was what they expected. Many however, would argue that regardless of expectation, year 6 students have again been left feeling dejected.

As the exams continue, arm your students with strategies to improve their mental wellbeing:

  • Practice meditation together
  • Make time for yoga
  • Learn breathing exercises
  • See the positives in the day
  • Take regular, revision breaks
  • Encourage students to do something they love: read, run, draw, play music

And make sure you do too!

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Athona recognises the importance of mental health services, not only for young people, but everyone. We are therefore proud to be supporting mental health charity Mind as one of our charities of the year. If you need someone to listen, visit and speak to one of the Mind team. 

Jemma, is our Project Co-Ordinator here at Athona and is also a qualified teacher. During Jemma’s teaching career, she held the responsibility of Teaching and Learning Leader for key stage 3 English and was a mentor to a number of trainee teachers. Jemma spends her time regularly writing topical and latest industry blog posts and is the main point of contact for our international candidates. More recently, Jemma has been coordinating the training we provide to our teachers and schools.