Managing exam stress | News and events


Managing exam stress

NHS advice on supporting young people to manage exam stress

With exam season now in full swing the local NHS wants to remind parents, carers and young people of the support and advice available to help ease stress and anxiety over the coming months.

From top tips on eating and sleeping well, online support and information services, to phone and text crisis helplines, there is a wide range of helpful support available.

Dr Emma Tiffin, Associate Director Mental Health & Learning Disabilities at NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, offers some advice:

Not everybody likes taking exams, and that’s ok. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that parents or carers can help young people to reduce any exam anxiety or stress.

Sometimes it can be a simple check in, encouraging your child to eat, drink and sleep well, taking regular breaks, and reassuring them it’s OK to ask for help if they become overwhelmed.

For further support, our local mental health and wellbeing website is packed full of mental health tips, guidance and advice. Alternatively, national websites such as and have heaps of useful guidance and resources on their websites to help guide young people through their exam periods.

Last year saw the launch of a free mental health text messaging support service HEAR 85258  that provides real-time support to anybody who is struggling with their mental health. When texting the word HEAR to 85258, you’ll be connected to a trained professional via text who will offer support in a time or place of crisis.

Helpful websites and local services to support young people include:

  • Keep Your Head - local website provides information on mental health and wellbeing support and local services available for young people and adults across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. 
  • HEAR 85258 - a 24/7 mental health free text messaging support service - texting the word HEAR to 85258 to be connected to a trained professional who will offer them calm in a time or place of crisis.
  • ChatHealth 07480 635 443 (open Monday – Friday 9.30-4pm) - run by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Healthy Child Programme, ChatHealth is a secure and confidential text messaging service for young people aged 11-19 across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough who are struggling with a range of health issues.
  • Help your child beat exam stress - offers some great advice for adults to help their teens during the exam period, from recognising the signs of exam stress to sharing helpful tips and resources.
  • Childline Exam stress and pressure - provides young people with guidance before, during and after their exams, plus the charity’s free phoneline 0800 1111 is available for those who want to talk.
  • Qwell and Kooth - free online wellbeing services offering chat-based counselling, peer support and self-help. – for ages 18+ – for ages 11-25.
  • NHS 111 and select the mental health option - if you are in a mental health crisis. This service is available 24/7, 365 days of the year.

Dr Tiffin added:

It’s important that our children and young people understand that what they’re experiencing right now is normal and they’re not alone during this time. Exams are important, but their future will still be bright, no matter their results.

We use cookies to help make this website better. You can at any time read our Cookie Policy and our Privacy Policy. Please click "Accept additional cookies" if you would like to agree to our use of cookies.

Please choose a setting: