Turn2Me, a national mental health charity, will begin free online support groups, starting next week until the end of June, for students and parents feeling stressed about the Leaving Cert. The charity first launched Leaving Cert support groups for students last year and said this year, it would also launch a separate support group for parents, after receiving feedback from its users.
Turn2Me stated that the Leaving Cert can be an extremely stressful time for young people and their families, and that it can cause panic attacks, anxiety, and low self-esteem for many. Turn2Me stated that these support groups will be a space where young people and parents can share their struggles anonymously and receive tips on how to deal with stress, panic attacks, anxiety, and other issues from a mental health professional.
“Young people can really struggle with their stress levels, coming up to the Leaving Cert,” Fiona O’Malley, CEO of Turn2Me said, “It can be challenging to perform well in a particular type of exam, primarily ‘rote learning’ or a memory test, with some exams back-to-back. It’s a marathon and if students don’t manage their stress levels throughout the Leaving Cert, it can have a detrimental impact on their performance throughout the exams.”
Turn2Me recommended creating a study timetable and sticking to it; taking regular breaks; writing revision notes; using ‘Brainscape’ – a flashcards learning app; staying hydrated and eating healthy foods; deep breathing; going for a jog or a walk in the morning; and doing yoga or stretching in the evenings to improve sleep quality. The charity also encouraged students and parents who are feeling overwhelmed or stressed about the Leaving Cert to join its free online support group.
The Turn2Me Leaving Cert Students support group will run on Wednesdays at 6pm, and the Turn2Me Leaving Cert Parents support group will run on Thursdays at 6pm. To sign up, go to Turn2Me.ie