As teenagers up and down the country embark on their first set of GCSE exams, YMCA DownsLink Group has linked up with a local college in Sussex to create the #NoStressSuccess campaign.
Partnering up with Greater Brighton Metropolitan College, YMCA DownsLink Group kicked off the campaign, which is part of its Right Here project, on 12 May 2018 to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week. It aims to help pupils reduce their levels of stress and take care of their mental wellbeing during exam season, as well as supporting their parents and carers.
In addition, the campaign emphasises on the fact that there is more than one path to success – whether a pupil get nine GCSEs or none, there are options available.
Designed to help teens keep their stress levels down and their minds open to what success can look like after they leave secondary school, the campaign offers an online Study Stress Survival Guide and a visual capturing the four zones of stress. These zones show how to identify and manage symptoms and when to seek different kinds of everyday and specialist support.
The campaign also features a series of candid accounts via social media from ‘exam survivors’ from around Sussex, who share their personal stories, messages of hope and advice. This includes fainting due to exam stress, anxiety and feeling ‘sad and heartbroken’ on results day, as well as relating the inspiring pathways they took post-GCSEs. These stories are also being shared on social media.
#NoStressSuccess was born out of data gathered by YMCA Right Here, a health and wellbeing project that delivers exam stress workshops in Sussex secondary schools, showed a 40% increase in requests for its services over the past three years. In addition, the number of students requesting post-workshop support has tripled in the same period.
Chas Walker, Chief Executive of YMCA DownsLink Group, said: “More and more people are experiencing symptoms of stress and other mental health issues as a result of the pressure associated with GCSEs.
“Exam stress has increased as a reported concern for young people accessing our services over the past five years – recorded levels in 2016/17 were almost double what they were back in 2012/13.
“Reported levels of anxiety around the transition from secondary school to college and the workplace have also increased.
“YMCA is excited to be working with the MET College on this important initiative.”
For more information on the #NoStressSuccess campaign, visit the website.