Students urge to seek help with stress

WITH exam season now under way school, college and university students are being encouraged not to suffer in silence when it comes to dealing with stress.

Tips for stress management can be found through the new NHS inform Mental Health and Wellbeing zone at www.nhsinform.co.uk/mentalhealth, which has links to other websites and resources providing practical advice for dealing with stress.

Tony McLaren, national co-ordinator for charity Breathing Space, said this time of year can present challenges not only for students but families and others trying to offer support.

He said: “Signs of stress can include irritability, loss of appetite, problems with sleep, headaches, dizziness and poor concentration. Long-term stress and anxiety is more difficult to resolve yourself, so identifying factors which are contributing to stress early on is important. Sometimes taking breathers more often or perhaps trying some relaxation techniques can help you to deal with stress more effectively.”

Mental health charity Penumbra has also issued advice on how to prepare for exams.

A spokeswoman said: “Locking yourself away all day and night, spending too much time going over things can seriously affect your well-being. It is crucial to ‘take time out’. Our brains can only concentrate for a certain length of time, therefore it is important to allow time to rest our minds and do the things we enjoy. This in turn will help to reduce stress levels, allow us to study more effectively and help to maintain a study/life balance.

Breathing Space’s confidential advisers can be contacted on 0800 83 85 87 from 6pm until 2am between Monday and Thursday and 24 hours at weekends, from 6pm on Friday to 6am on Monday.