The Community Academies Trust is committed to providing a mental health and well-being provision in all CAT schools.
Exam season is upon us and can be a challenging time for young people. Many feel stressed in the lead-up to and during their exams followed by worry in anticipation of their results.
Noticing early signs that exam or assessment stress is becoming an issue for a student include:
- Noticeable low mood
- Expressing hopelessness about the future
- Not enjoying activities that they previously enjoyed
- Withdrawing from friends
- Complaining of physical symptoms – e.g. headaches and stomach pains
- Not eating or drinking frequently
- Noticeable anxiety
- Reassurance seeking
- Reduced eye contact
- Talking quickly
As adults, it can be difficult to know what we can do to support children and young people during this time. What can adults do to support students?
Time management tips to help with focus, concentration and to avoid procrastination:
“Planning a special treat and talking about things they are looking forward to after exams, can help them feel positive, motivated and less worried” young minds
Mental Health Awareness Week 2023
What is Mental Health
The theme of Mental Health Awareness week 2023 is Anxiety.
Anxiety disorders affect over 8 million people in the UK – that’s a little over 1 in 10 of us – and there are lots of different types.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a common emotion that we’ve likely all experienced at some point in our lives.
We may feel worried, tense or fearful sometimes. These are normal responses to certain situations.
But if you live with an anxiety disorder these intense feelings of fear and danger can be ongoing and impact the quality of life, stopping you living your life as fully as you want to.
When we talk about anxiety, we might dismiss it as someone “just worrying” or “just being stressed”.
These common phrases can be harmful. This Mental Health Week we want to challenge the notion that it’s ‘just’ anxiety, and share awareness about the condition.
Types of Anxiety?
Common types of anxiety disorders include:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Separation anxiety
There are also some common anxiety themes and experiences which might impact our lifestyle. For example, experiencing agoraphobia, the fear of public spaces or health anxiety, making us anxious about changes to our health or experiencing health related issues.
Help for anxiety
There are lots of self-help methods, often based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
CBT helps you to rethink negative thoughts and behaviours.
- Non-facilitated self-help – This involves using information provided by the NHS to help yourself
- Guided self-help – A trained professional will take you through the information – Speak to your GP
- Psycho-educational groups – In a group, you’ll learn about your symptoms and how to manage them
Popular self-help methods that you can do at home to help you relax and manage your symptoms include:
- Doing relaxing tasks such as guided meditation or relaxing music or colouring (find your way to become more mindful)
- Eating healthily
- Keeping a routine
- Try to get enough sleep
- Keep a mood diary to help you be aware of your symptoms, and what makes you better and worse
“Our mind wanders all the time, either reviewing the past or planning for the future. Mindfulness is a skill that teaches you to pay attention to the present by noticing when your mind wanders off.” Suzanne Westbrook
Practice Mindful breathing:
For online support for anxiety or low mood, sign up for silvercloud : https://kernowconnect.silvercloudhealth.com/signup
If you are struggling and don’t know who to speak to you can
Text SHOUT to 85258 (24/7)
Or contact ChildLine 0800 1111
General mental health support for young people
- Kooth:(online counselling for young people)
- BEAM: this is a telephone based service for people aged under 25. Please email AskBeam@childrenssociety.org.uk in the first instance
- Young Minds
- Cruse: Bereavement Support
- BEAT:Support around eating disorders
- The Mix: or telephone 0808 808 4994
- PRISM: Free local grief support for young people and adults. Request a referral form by emailing email@example.com
- Winstons Wish: Support for children and young people after the death of a sibling or parent
- Hopeline U.K: Support for people who have concerns over suicide. You can also telephone 0800 068 4141
Services available for support include Kooth and BEAM.
Kooth is a free online mental wellbeing community, that provides safe and anonymous support. They can be contacted via their website: https://www.kooth.com/