• Fri. Aug 5th, 2022

Mental health support group launched to help Waterford students deal with exam stress

ByJulie J. Helfer

Jun 11, 2022

A free mental health support group to help students in Waterford and across Ireland cope with the stress of taking Leaving Certificate and University exams has been launched.

Turn2Me, a national mental health charity, has announced the launch of the “Exam Stress” support group which started on Thursday, June 9 at 6 p.m.

It will be open to students of all ages and will welcome young people in baccalaureate, students preparing for university entrance examinations and students taking third degree exams.

The support group will be 100% free for all students and is also open to parents who are worried about their children during exam season. The support group will focus on exam anxiety, how to reduce exam stress and how to prepare for upcoming exams while ensuring your mental health is also a priority.

The free support group will be led by a mental health professional, Anika Sparling, who is a qualified and accredited psychotherapist. Support groups are available to everyone on the island of Ireland.

People who wish to join the free ‘Exam Stress’ support group can create a free account on Turn2Me.ie and simply join the group.

“We are delighted to launch this vital support group for students,” Fiona O’Malley, CEO of Turn2Me.

“We listened to our users and feedback from high schools and colleges across the country, and the need for this support group became clear to us. A little stress around exams can be good, as it can help you focus and act as a motivational tool.

“Problems arise when anxiety and stress levels rise and become overwhelming. Some students feel like they are drowning under self-imposed pressure, or pressure from their parents, to perform well. Of course, it is important to try your best in exams, but academic success is not the most important thing.

“The most important thing is to manage your well-being and make sure you approach exams with as little stress as possible, one subject and one topic at a time,” Ms O’Malley said.

“Common symptoms of stress around exams include feeling weak, loss of appetite, feeling overwhelmed by pressure, inability to sleep and sometimes inability to concentrate,” said said psychotherapist Anika Sparling.

“This level of stress is unproductive and unnecessary as it is bad for your mental health and it also negatively impacts your performance in exams. The support group we are launching on Exam Stress will run every Thursday at 6pm on Turn2Me website.

“People can anonymously post how they feel and express their concerns. It will be a safe and welcoming space for students who might just want to let go of their worries, who might need help before and during exam season. , and for parents who are worried about their children going through important exams and who don’t know how to support them through this difficult time,” Ms Sparling added.

Turn2Me encourages high school students, third graders, and any parents interested in getting help for themselves or a loved one during exam season, to join this free, run support group. by a mental health professional, by creating a free account on Turn2Me.ie and book their slot.