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08 Aug 2022

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

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

A free mental health support group to help students from Waterford and across Ireland cope with stress from sitting the Leaving Certificate and college exams has been launched. 

Turn2Me, a national mental health charity, has announced that it is launching The ‘Exam Stress’ support group which will start next Thursday the 9th June at 6pm.

It will be open to students of all ages and will cater for young people sitting the leaving certificate, students preparing for college entrance exams, and students doing third level examinations.

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 stresses, and how to prepare for upcoming exams while ensuring your mental health is also prioritised.

The free support group will be conducted by a mental health professional, Anika Sparling, who is a qualified, accredited Psychotherapist. The support groups are accessible to anyone on the island of Ireland.

People who want to enroll for the free ‘Exam Stress’ support group can create a free account on Turn2Me.ie and simply sign up for the group.

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

“We have been listening to our users and to feedback from secondary schools and third level institutions across the country, and the need for this support group has become clear to us. A little bit of stress coming up to exams can be good, as it can help you focus and act as a motivation tool.

"The problems occur when the anxiety and stress levels increase and become overwhelming. Some students feel like they’re drowning in the pressures they put on themselves, or pressures from their parents, to perform well in exams. Of course, it’s important to try your best in exams, but academic success isn’t the most important thing.

"The most important thing is to manage your wellbeing and to make sure that you’re approaching exams with as little stress as possible, one topic and one subject at a time,” Ms O'Malley said.

 “The common symptoms of stress coming up to exams are feeling low, appetite loss, feeling overwhelmed by the pressure, not being able to sleep, and sometimes not being able to focus,” psychotherapist Anika Sparling said. 

"This level of stress is unproductive and unhelpful because it’s bad for your mental health and it also negatively impacts your performance during the exams. The support group we’re launching on Exam Stress will run every Thursday at 6pm on the Turn2Me website.

"People can anonymously post how they’re feeling and voice their concerns. It will be a safe, welcoming space for students who might just want to get their worries off their chest, who may need some support coming up to and during exam season, and for parents who are worried about their children sitting important exams, and who aren’t sure how to support them during this challenging time,” Ms Sparling added.

Turn2Me is encouraging secondary students, third level students, and any parents interested in getting support for themselves or a loved one during exam season, to sign up to this free support group, run by a mental health professional, by creating a free account on Turn2Me.ie and booking their slot.

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