School and Stress

School and Stress

How does the stress of school impact young people?

School stress can have a negative impact on a teenager’s health and wellbeing.

A survey by ReachOut (2018) found that two-thirds of young Australians experienced “worrying levels” of exam stress. Students were concerned about their future, including finding a job in a changing workforce.

This survey also showed the rate of young Australians seeking support for poor mental health or medical help doubled from the year before. It jumped from 15.5 per cent in 2017 to 30.5 per cent in 2018.

Are school stresses always bad for young people?

It’s important to keep in mind that stress isn’t always a bad thing. For example, it’s natural for young people to feel a certain degree of stress when they are challenging themselves, such as when they’re taking an exam or doing a class presentation. This type of stress can often improve performance and focus.

Supporting your child with school stress isn’t about removing all potential causes of worry from their school life. Instead, focus on helping them to deal with stress in a healthy manner.

If they are experiencing chronic stress or feeling overwhelmed or distress, it’s best to seek help from organisations such as HeadSpace

How can you help your teenager deal with school stresses?

Here are some tips that can help manage stress:

  • Eating a nutritious breakfast daily and getting the right amount of sleep each night is important.
  • Using phones or laptops until late can have a destructive impact on their ability and quality of sleep.
  • Talk to your child about the different types of stress. Let them know you are happy to talk about any problems they are having at school or find someone they are comfortable to talk to.
  • Make exercise a family priority and encourage your child to find ways to relax. This can help prevent them from falling into chronic stress patterns.
  • Pay attention to your child’s thinking patterns as these can cause unnecessary stress. Examples of unhealthy thinking patterns include labelling or negative self-talk and all-or-nothing thinking. If you notice your young person making all-or-nothing comments like “this assignment has to be perfect”, talk them through why this isn’t true and remind them that you’re there to support them.

Seek the help you need

To find out more, visit Youth Network of Tasmania for a list of local services and online support.