This is the time to support teenagers who have just had the results of their A Levels or college courses and are in a dilemma over their future careers.

Quite often we, as parents, are unable to judge the hidden anxieties, fears and moods which our children suffer.

Dr Raj Persaud, the famous psychologist from Maudsley, in his book, Staying Sane How to Make Your Mind Work For You, offers an insight into the real worries and emotions of teenagers and the psychology behind their behaviour surrounding examination stress.

I found this book very useful in how to understand teenage students, our own attitudes and how to approach our children in a positive and supportive manner, in order to encourage them and often avoid disaster.

Dr Persaud highlights the fact that gifted children are often more prone to exam fear and worry about achieving, than those who are not so academic. "It is vital for parents and those close to brighter students to be aware of the emotional turmoil lurking below the surface, otherwise, the outer picture of someone likely to do well in exams prevents family and friends from offering vital support, he writes.

While bright students are more at risk of suicidal thoughts, parents also need to be aware of the self derogatory feelings which poor achievers suffer, which can lead to suicidal thoughts.

It is becoming clearer that parents, families and friends need to offer encouragement and support with a positive note.

Becoming aware and sensitive to our children's emotions and social issues can save lives.

Suicide is the second highest cause of death among school pupils and university students and has been increasing at a dramatic rate in these groups over the past decade.

Up to 50 percent of students actively contemplate suicide at some time.

Recent research from the University of Georgia, in the USA, found that more than one in ten students suffer from significant depression.

Students at Oxford and Cambridge Universities have a rate of suicide ranging from two to 10 times that of the general population.

It is this fear of perfectionism, achieving success and unhealthy competitiveness, that puts enormous pressure on our children.

Pupils surrounded by brighter fellow pupils "can constantly feel in shadow of others, whatever their success.

They need to be reminded that just because someone else is better in their course, it does not mean that person is a superior being.

It is vital to remind our children of their personal good qualities, about a sense of humour, about not taking exams too seriously but deriving high self esteem from their efforts and preparation.

Not imposing our own high expectations on our children may be a very important factor to consider.