06 Jul 2022

Laois students urged to join new free online 'Exam Stress' support group

Mental health support line launched to help students deal with exam stress

With the leaving cert getting underway this week, national mental health charity Turn2Me is launching a free mental health support group on Thursday, June 9 at 6pm. 

The ‘Exam Stress’ support group will be open to students of all ages and will cater for young people sitting the leaving certificate, students preparing for college entrance exams, and students doing third level examinations.

The support group will be 100% free for all students and is also open to parents who are worried about their children during exam season. The support group will focus on exam anxiety, how to reduce exam stresses, and how to prepare for upcoming exams while ensuring your mental health is also prioritised.

The free support group will be conducted by a mental health professional, Anika Sparling, who is a qualified, accredited Psychotherapist. The support groups are accessible to anyone on the island of Ireland. People who want to enroll for the free ‘Exam Stress’ support group can create a free account on and simply sign up for the group.

Fiona O’Malley, CEO of Turn2Me, said: “We have been listening to our users and to feedback from secondary schools and third level institutions across the country, and the need for this support group has become clear to us. A little bit of stress coming up to exams can be good, as it can help you focus and act as a motivation tool. The problems occur when the anxiety and stress levels increase and become overwhelming.”

She said:  “Some students feel like they’re drowning in the pressures they put on themselves, or pressures from their parents, to perform well in exams. Of course, it’s important to try your best in exams, but academic success isn’t the most important thing. The most important thing is to manage your wellbeing and to make sure that you’re approaching exams with as little stress as possible, one topic and one subject at a time.”

Psychotherapist at Turn2Me said, Anika Sparling said: “The common symptoms of stress coming up to exams are feeling low, appetite loss, feeling overwhelmed by the pressure, not being able to sleep, and sometimes not being able to focus.”

"This level of stress is unproductive and unhelpful because it’s bad for your mental health and it also negatively impacts your performance during the exams. The support group we’re launching on Exam Stress will run every Thursday at 6pm on the Turn2Me website. People can anonymously post how they’re feeling and voice their concerns. It will be a safe, welcoming space for students who might just want to get their worries off their chest, who may need some support coming up to and during exam season, and for parents who are worried about their children sitting important exams, and who aren’t sure how to support them during this challenging time.”

Turn2Me is encouraging secondary students, third level students, and any parents interested in getting support for themselves or a loved one during exam season, to sign up to this free support group, run by a mental health professional, by creating a free account on and booking their slot.

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