Northern Ireland news

August surge in anxious teenagers reaching out to Childline with exam results fears

Calling childline: There has been a surge in calls ahead of exam results

ANXIOUS teenagers with exam results fears are reaching out for help in increasing numbers, a children's charity has said.

There has been an August surge in calls to the free Childline service, which is supported by the NSPCC.

Almost 1,300 counselling sessions were delivered to children and teenagers in 2017/18 - a 15 per cent rise on last year.

Almost a quarter of these took place in August as young people receive their GCSE and A-level results.

Figures show that girls are much more willing to reach out for help, receiving 74 per cent of all counselling sessions delivered by Childline on this issue.

A-level results: Useful links

Department of Economy careers service
UCAS clearing
Central Applications Office - universities in the Republic
CCEA - Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment

Young people told counsellors they were very worried about their results stopping them going to university, with many expressing concerns about sharing them with their parents and teachers.

Others said they were struggling to cope and that the build up of pressure as they waited for their grades was making them feel stressed and depressed.

One boy who contacted Childline said: "I'm feeling really depressed and stressed out at the moment. I'm worried about getting my A-level results. I don't think I will get the marks I need to get into my chosen university, and there's loads of pressure on me from my teachers to do well. I don't have anyone to talk to about it because I don't want to let anyone down."

Mairead Monds, Childline manager for Northern Ireland, said lots of young people struggled with the pressure of exam results season.

"The desire to get good grades and secure university places can feel like a lot to bear," she said.

"We are also aware that once teenagers have got their results they can feel overwhelmed by what comes next, especially if they don’t get the grades they were hoping for. It's important they share how they are feeling and discuss their options with a friend, trusted adult or Childline."


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Childline has the following advice for young people:

:: Don't panic if you don't get the results you were hoping for

:: You may have to make some tough decisions but remember you always have options and you can get help

:: Everyone is different so try not to compare your results to your friends or classmates

:: If you're disappointed with your results it can help to talk to a teacher or someone you trust about how you're feeling

:: Childline is free and confidential, 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or at

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