Samaritans is calling on parents, teachers, students and employers to put well-being ahead of grades this exam season. By keeping results in perspective, it says young people are more likely to do themselves justice than if they face intolerable levels of pressure and stress.
The call comes as schools, colleges and universities get their exam season underway. It also echoes the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which is focusing on coping with stress.
Karen Harvey, who heads up Samaritans work in educations, said: “Learning to manage your emotions – build resilience, develop communication skills and positive ways to cope with difficulties – is as important as learning to read and write. Naturally, every parent, teacher and employer puts a value on good grades, and students put themselves under pressure to achieve. 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. Whatever stage you’re at in life, exams or not everything.”
Samaritans has a programme of teaching resources for teachers called Developing Emotional Awareness and Listening (DEAL), some of the activities focus on exam stress and developing positive ways of coping. Many of our branches also offer talks for young people in schools.
Samaritans promotes well-being in the workplace too and, working with the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, has just launched a ground breaking set of resources for business called Wellbeing In The City, which firms are being encouraged to sign up to during Mental Health Awareness Week.
Anyone who is feeling overwhelmed because of work or exam pressure, or who is worried about someone else, can contact Samaritans for free from any phone on 116 123. This number will not show up on their phone bill.