As students have now completed their A-level and GCSE examinations, recent data from the JTeen support line shows a 6% increase in calls from stressed-out teens during exam season. This alarming trend highlights the growing issue of exam-related stress among our teens.

Last year, Childline reported a 10% increase in counselling sessions related to exam stress, and 82% of headteachers observed higher levels of stress and anxiety compared to pre-pandemic times.

JTeen has played a crucial role in supporting students, helping them manage panic attacks, feelings of self-harm, and low mood with effective strategies. These efforts have significantly improved the mental well-being of many teens during this challenging period.

Exam stress can lead to severe mental health issues among teens, triggering panic attacks and contributing to depression and self-harm as they struggle to cope with the pressure. In response to this growing concern, examining boards are offering extra time and accommodations for those struggling with their mental health.

Additionally, organizations like the National Education Union (NEU) advocate for alternative assessment methods to reduce the reliance on high-stakes exams. However, these measures alone are not addressing the root of the problem.

“Providing extra time and alternative assessments are steps in the right direction, but they are reactive solutions. We need to be proactive by teaching our children how to cope with stress before it becomes overwhelming,” said JTeen Therapist Tehilla Birnbaum.

As part of JTeen’s “10 Life Hacks” school program launching in September, students will learn how to overcome stress using easy-to-implement ideas and wellbeing techniques. This initiative aims to empower students with the tools they need to focus on positive wellbeing, strengthen resilience, and improve self-awareness.

“Exam stress is a critical issue that demands immediate attention,” said psychotherapist and JTeen CEO Yaakov Barr. “That is why we have created our ’10 Life Hacks’ program. If we can equip students with practical strategies to manage stress effectively, then we are preparing them for life and its inevitable challenges and stresses. Schools, parents, and policymakers need to prioritize mental health education and provide our students with the tools they need to thrive under pressure so that by next year the levels of those struggling can already start to go down.”