The start of the new year brings new beginnings and a fresh new start for all. For students across the UK, it’s just one month closer to exam season.

The pressure for passing exams exceeds expectations and the records of mental health disorders rise yearly. According to information published by the BBC ( in September 2017, there is a distinctive rise in students who record mental health issues now compared to previous years. In 2015-16, More than 15,000 UK first-year students at university discussed their own mental health issues whereas in 2006, there were only 3,000 noted records. Students from the ages of 12-21 continue to struggle with the tribulations of their academic life despite the governments attempts to provide help to each individual such as counselling sessions and flexi-schooling. 

GCSE statics have also been affected by the significant Change in mental health cases this year. The general secretary of ASCL Union (Association of School and College Leaders), Geoff Barton, believes that the new curriculum will only intensify mental health issues; “We are concerned the new exams will make the situation worse.” It is apparent that the introduction of more rigorous examination preparation for the new GCSE exams reduces grade inflation but the demands for support have also risen as a result, causing a strain on school and university funding.

Not only are the pressures of exams stressful because of the constant trail examinations, but also because of the emotional effort given continously. As of December 2017, The Guardian ( explored whether mindfulness helps students stress around exam time and stated that university mental health services such as counselling have risen by 50% between 2010 and 2015. If anything, this information will help universities and schools become better equipped to help students when they need it. Yet, the search for support continues as students of all ages reach out to each other in hopes to find a solution to help them cope and to know that they’re not alone. 

Please visit the links below for more information and support. If you feel as if you struggle with any mental health disorder, please seek professional help.

By Mhari Grace, Oriel High School