Finishing school used to be a time of hope, dreams and anticipation for what the future would bring. But in a worrying trend, increasing numbers of rural students are experiencing far more exam-related stress than their city counterparts.
The new research, released today by online mental health organisation, ReachOut, shows that one-in-four regional students who sought help for exam stress also turned to their GP or a mental health professional – twice as likely as metropolitan students, and relied more on support from their teachers.
It is the first year ReachOut has released regional-specific analysis as part of its annual exam stress campaign. ReachOut CEO Jono Nicholas is encouraging more regional students to visit ReachOut.com for what he calls ‘a range of unique support services targeted specifically at helping them plan for exams and life after’.
“ReachOut has always been focused on the fact there are different stresses faced by young people in the regions and it can be tough going. It’s about future job security, they don’t necessarily want to leave their towns but worry what the future may hold for them,” Mr Nicholas said.
“It’s a big added pressure at exam time when you consider many regional students know they may be forced to move hundreds or thousands of kilometers away from their family just to find a job or continue studying.
“The beauty of ReachOut.com is we can help you plan life after exams as well, so if you’re still feeling unsure about what the future holds after the final school bell rings, we’re only a click away, anytime of night or day.”
Mr Nicholas said parents had a big part to play in helping alleviate exam stress and revealed ReachOut’s website also has a dedicated toolkit supporting them as well as part of this year’s campaign.
“Whether you’re a student or a parent dealing with exam stress, ReachOut.com is here to help. It’s available for free anytime and pretty much anywhere, so it’s perfect for people living in regional Australia.”