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Episode 76: Pressure on self and future uncertainty causes student stress

Students at Holy Spirit Catholic College, Lakemba

Almost two thirds of young people are experiencing worrying levels of exam stress, and one in 10 are suffering from extreme stress when completing testing. That's according to ReachOut, an online mental health organisation for young people and their parents.

SBS Italian news, with a slower pace. This is Slow Italian, Fast Learning, the very best of the week’s news, read at a slower pace, with Italian and English text available.

Italian

Proprio quando gli esami finali si avvicinano per gli studenti del 12° anno, i giovani vengono incoraggiati a mettere in atto strategie per gestire i livelli di stress durante questo difficile periodo.

L'organizzazione ReachOut si occupa delle questioni che riguardano la salute e il benessere dei giovani.

Il suo amministratore delegato, Ashley de Silva, afferma che la pressione per il successo e le preoccupazioni per il futuro sono fattori chiave.

"We noticed some years ago that exam stress is a really key moment in a young person's life where they're facing a high amount of pressure and trying to figure out how they get through that, whilst there's a lot of voices around them saying 'this is a really key moment', 'this moment's really significant', which can actually add a lot of extra pressure onto the situation as well."

Sono state intervistate più di 1.000 persone di età compresa tra 14 e 25 anni e il 66% ha affermato di non aver mai cercato un aiuto esterno per gestire lo stress.

Carter Opperman, studente del 12° anno, afferma di non essere riuscito a chiedere aiuto in passato.

"I'm in a pretty comfortable place with schooling at the moment. So now I try to look at exams as not a big deal in my mind. I try to plan other activities around. I try to exercise and eat healthy as much as possible and exams another thing I've got going on and not a big thing."

Lo studente di Sydney afferma che, quando è stressato, mette in atto strategie per gestire il suo stato di salute.

"I definitely like to meditate and do a lot of mindfulness techniques, a lot of mindfulness breathing. I like to, as I said plan others things around it so I know I've always got like a set routine. I make sure I always have a shower, make breakfast, clean my teeth."

ReachOut afferma di voler trasmettere a studenti, genitori e scuole il messaggio che una forma di aiuto è disponibile.

"Stress isn't all bad, so at its best stress can help a young person stay focussed, get through their workload and meet their goals but it's actually when it starts to manifest on the other end of the spectrum. You know, it can show up in things like difficulty sleeping, disengaging from things that they'd normally enjoy, so you can start to see people dropping out of - whether it's hobbies, sports, downtime with friends.  And all of that can kind of slowly build up to trouble with concentration, forgetting things during the exam itself and even into negative thoughts which can also lead into depression."

ReachOut sostiene che i genitori possono svolgere un ruolo importante.

Il sondaggio ha rilevato che i due terzi di coloro che hanno ricevuto aiuto per lo stress da esame hanno anche cercato aiuto da parte di un genitore.

 

English

As current Year 12 students approach their final school exams, young people are being encouraged to have plans in place to manage their stress levels during this intense period.

The organisation, ReachOut, examines issues affecting young people's health and well-being.

Its Chief Executive, Ashley de Silva, says pressure to succeed and concern about the future are key factors.

"We noticed some years ago that exam stress is a really key moment in a young person's life where they're facing a high amount of pressure and trying to figure out how they get through that, whilst there's a lot of voices around them saying 'this is a really key moment', 'this moment's really significant', which can actually add a lot of extra pressure onto the situation as well."

More than 1,000 people between the ages of 14 and 25 were surveyed with 66 per cent saying they haven't sought external help to manage the stress.

Year 12 student Carter Opperman says he has failed to ask for help in the past.

"I'm in a pretty comfortable place with schooling at the moment. So now I try to look at exams as not a big deal in my mind. I try to plan other activities around. I try to exercise and eat healthy as much as possible and exams another thing I've got going on and not a big thing."

The Sydney student says when he does get stressed, he has strategies in place to manage his health.

"I definitely like to meditate and do a lot of mindfulness techniques, a lot of mindfulness breathing. I like to, as I said plan others things around it so I know I've always got like a set routine. I make sure I always have a shower, make breakfast, clean my teeth."

ReachOut says it wants to get the message across to students, parents and schools that help is available.

"Stress isn't all bad, so at its best stress can help a young person stay focussed, get through their workload and meet their goals but it's actually when it starts to manifest on the other end of the spectrum. You know, it can show up in things like difficulty sleeping, disengaging from things that they'd normally enjoy, so you can start to see people dropping out of - whether it's hobbies, sports, downtime with friends.  And all of that can kind of slowly build up to trouble with concentration, forgetting things during the exam itself and even into negative thoughts which can also lead into depression."

ReachOut says parents have an important role to play.

The survey found that two-thirds of those who got help for exam stress also sought help from a parent.

Story by Maya Jamieson and Stephanie Corsetti for SBS news

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