Exam pressures so great children are struggling to cope says Childline - The Malvern Observer

Exam pressures so great children are struggling to cope says Childline

Malvern Editorial 12th May, 2017 Updated: 12th May, 2017   0

SCORES of young people are turning to Childline for help as they struggle to cope with the pressure of exam stress.

New figures from the NSPCC-service reveal its West Midlands base in Birmingham delivered 850 counselling sessions on exam stress over the last two years – with the majority of contacts, 496, coming from girls from across the UK.

Nationally, across its 12 bases, Childline carried out 3,135 counselling sessions in 2016/17 – a rise of 11 per cent over the past two years.

More than a fifth of these took place in May as pupils faced upcoming exams with many telling counsellors they were struggling with subjects, excessive workloads and feeling unprepared.

Children aged 12-15 were most likely to be counselled about exam stress but this year saw the biggest rise – up 21 per cent on 2015/16 – amongst 16-18 year olds, many of whom will have been preparing for A-levels to determine university places.

Worryingly young people are consistently telling counsellors exam stress can contribute to depression, anxiety, panic attacks, excessive crying, low self-esteem, self-harming and suicidal thoughts, or even make pre-existing mental health conditions worse.

One teenage boy who contacted Childline said: “I’m really feeling the pressure of A-levels, I’ve been having panic attacks and difficulty breathing. I’m so afraid of not getting the right grades and I’m stressed about the future. My life could turn out so differently depending on what I get.”

Children and young people can contact Childline for free, confidential support and advice, 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk.

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