Being a high school student is stressful, even more so as final exams approach, with many teens turning to mental health organisations for help.
Youth mental health service ReachOut Australia has revealed that they expect over 80 000 teens to contact them this year struggling with with exam stress and anxiety.
ReachOut Australia CEO Jono Nicholas says that the pressure to perform in these exams can be too much for many students.
“Year 12 students often feel like there is only one path to their future, when there are many different options, opportunities and career paths”, he said.
Research shows that one in five Year 12 students across Australia have considered suicide or self-harm due to exam and homework pressure.
Half of the students who participated in the study felt that too much was expected of them in their final year of high school.
Fronting this years “There’s Life after Year Twelve Exams” campaign were a number of high profile speakers, including the Prime Minister, the Opposition Leader and media personalities.
There’s Life after Year 12 exams Campaign aims to help students manage stress and anxiety during exam periods.
“Hi, I’m Malcolm Turnbull and I did my year twelve exams in 1972. I was pretty confident, I felt I had done enough work and I felt as long as I stayed calm then I would do reasonably well,” the Prime Minister said.
“There’s no point being anything other than chill when you’re doing the exam.”
Today morning show host Lisa Wilkinson also says students who are struggling should speak up and seek help for support.
“Try and find yourself a mentor. Find people who are going to be supportive. If somebody else believes in you at a time when maybe you’re not believing in yourself, just give it a go,” Ms Wilkinson said.
“I guarantee you, you will have more flight capabilities than you can imagine. There is life after year 12 exams, I promise.”
Mind Blank CEO Alison Kelly says today students are faced with multiple options and opportunities which increases stress.
“I feel like in modern day society we do have a lot of pressures going on to balance. The generation we have now has a million and one choices and a million and one pressures,” Ms Kelly said.
“In particular in grade 12 as it’s the year that’s the milestone year that sets up the rest of their lives in so many ways. One of the challenges we face is our generation have so many more options than before so I think a lot of people are a lot more stressed from that.”
ReachOut Australia encourages all Australians to share a message of support for all year twelve students in October and November.