As around 200,000 Year 12 students near the end of high school, leading digital mental health organisation ReachOut Australia is reminding young people and their parents that there is life after Year 12 exams.

Prominent Australians including actor Rahart Adams and journalist Sarah Harris have joined the likes of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Osher Günsberg to contribute video messages of support for this year’s Year 12 students, while for the first time, ReachOut is providing tips and information for parents of year 12 students.

‘There’s Life After Year 12 Exams is a national campaign that’s designed to help Year 12 students and their parents know how to manage stress and anxiety during exam time,’ said ReachOut CEO Jono Nicholas.

‘‘Exams are pretty stressful at the best of times, but they can be really overwhelming if you feel your whole life depends on the results.

‘‘We want young people to know that your marks don’t define you. There are many different options, opportunities and career paths – there’s not just one path to your future.’’

‘‘Coping with stress, and school and study problems are the issues that concern young people most. Last year, record numbers of students turned to ReachOut for advice and support – with more than 130,000 people accessing our study- and stress- related content. With new content available to help parents too, we expect to see large numbers of people turn to ReachOut.com over the coming months.’

As well as support for Year 12 students themselves, this year ReachOut has extended support to parents of Year 12 students, who can often experience the same intensity of exam stress as their teens.

‘‘Parents want to know how best to support their teenagers without adding to the pressure students already experience, or projecting unrealistic expectations on them,’’ Mr Nicholas said.

‘Stress around exam time can not only impact a teenager’s mental health but also their physical health and general wellbeing.  Knowing how to help teenagers manage their stress in the lead-up to exams can help them to study and also reduce the tension at home.’

REACHOUT’S TOP YEAR 12 EXAM STRESS TIPS FOR STUDENTS

  • Take care of yourself: sleep lots, eat good food and keep moving.
  • It’s normal to feel a whole range of things before or after you get your exam results, but there are ways you can deal with the pressure of expectations. No exam result is so important that it will stop you achieving your goals in the long term.
  • Make the effort to balance study with relaxation is not only important for your state of mind, but for the quality of your study as well.
  • Exams are stressful, but there are a range of strategies you can use to manage your stress.

REACHOUT’S TIPS TO HELP PARENTS PARENTS HELP THEIR TEENAGERS THROUGH EXAMS

  • Talk about symptoms of stress with your teenager. Understanding what makes them stressed they can build the skills to cope better and reduce stress in the future.
  • Help them set up a quiet and comfortable place to study.Help them get organised and write a study timetable that includes breaks and time to relax and socialise.
  • Give them some time off household chores during their exam period and schedule family time around their study timetable. Be responsive to their needs and don’t ask them to stop studying for something that isn’t urgent.
  • Help them write a list of things they can do to relax. Making time to relax can help to reduce stress and calm their nerves.
  • Encourage them to be active, eat well and sleep well. Go for walks or be active as a whole family and make healthy meals (limiting caffeine and sugar).
  • Look after yourself. By taking care of your own wellbeing you will be in a better place to support your teenager through this stressful time.

For more information, stories and fact sheets for students going through exams, visit  reachout.com/examstress

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