200% increase in ChildLine counselling sessions about exam stress last year

ChildLine is reminding young people that help is available if they feel anxious or worried about exams.   ChildLine has revealed that for the first time ever school and education problems emerged as a top concern among those contacting the helpline in 2013/14.

ChildLine carried out 34,454 counselling sessions mentioning school and education problems with a 200% increase in counselling about exam stress specifically. There were also more than 87,500 visits to ChildLine’s webpage about the issue.

Major themes include:

·        not wanting to disappoint their parents

·        fear of failure

·        general pressures linked to academic achievement.

Stresses about exams can affect young people's ability to sleep, trigger anxiety attacks, depression and tearfulness, and eating disorders. In some cases it also led to self-harm and suicidal feelings.

Peter Wanless NSPCC Chief Executive said:  "The exam period can be a very stressful and anxious time for young people. As these figures reveal, the pressure to do well is being felt by an increasing number of young people across the country. We hear from lots of young people each year who are anxious, worried or panicking about their exams and revision. We want to let them know that they are not alone and that ChildLine is here to listen to them."