Combating student stress through communication

Annie Manning

Annie Manning is a qualified NLP Life Skills Coach and Counsellor including; spiritual healing, bereavement and cognitive behaviour therapies. Annie fully values the importance of a student’s wellbeing, positive intervention and uses these additional communication skills to help coach tutors, parents and students. She runs a blog with tips on mindfulness, avoiding exam stress and promoting support charities in mental health, bereavement and anti-bullying. Credoblog.co

She is an experienced freelance report writer, marketing and quality consultant working within Commercial and IT markets, Health, Education and NFP Sectors. Her quality projects have included speaking with schools, universities and researching protocol and purchasing patterns within the LEA nationally. As a marketing manager within IT she dealt with, schools and IDPE members on a daily basis for many years.

Website: www.credocounsellingandcoaching.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Image credit: Pixabay // nrjfalcon1 Image credit: Pixabay // nrjfalcon1

I have spent most of my career encouraging communication and how it is, and always will be, the key to success. To many people this is obvious, though as adults we tend to forget that teenagers prefer to be non-committal and secretive, if not a little uncooperative.

What we all have to remember is that the teenage brain is not fully developed in terms of emotional response. With age comes wisdom, and the ability to cope better under stress. Being a teenager has become an increasingly more stressful time, and we ignore this fact at our peril.


If we are lucky our children/students do take the opportunities which are presented to open up and share their worries to enable us to help them through the difficult times. However, we know from increasingly sad statistics provided by such organisations as Time To Change that one in 10 young people experience mental health problems which can lead to: self-harming, drug abuse/taking and in some cases suicide in the young and that far too many students are still suffering in silence.

“One in 10 young people experience mental health problems.”


Childline recent quoted that boys are six times less likely to talk to a Childline counsellor about suicidal thoughts. Their new Tough to Talk campaign is encouraging boys to talk. With released figures that only 1934 sessions were delivered to boys 2015/2016 compared with 11,463 for girls. The suicide rate for boys aged 10-19 was more than double that for girls in 2015.


Stress affects all students


All students, at any level of academic abilities and attending schools in all areas, can and will be struggling at some stage or another. I know from working personally on research projects with colleagues within the education sector that students who are experiencing emotional problems often include the high achievers and may be living in an affluent area.


As with anyone suffering with stress, there are outward signs which can be picked up on by diligent parents and teachers… though don’t count on it! Depression and anxiety may manifest themselves in loss of appetite, sleeping problems and changes in behaviour. Often the quiet and apparently bright student may feel too embarrassed to admit they are finding studies and the oncoming exams all too much for them. Equally, the animated, popular student may be hiding all sorts of fears behind the exterior smile and somewhat happy disposition. It’s a minefield of emotions, hormones and fears of not succeeding.


Help is available – though budgets are tight


So, how do we pitch help and support to ensure all students are left in no doubt that if they are struggling and need help that it is there for the asking?


Answer: Communication, lots of it, and on a regular basis. Find new ways of communicating in all forms of media open to you. Making it clear that;

1. help is available,
2. it’s a positive move to seek it and
3. will be treated in strictest confidence.


Creating the right environment


We all know that students need the right environment to focus on their studies. This may be a quiet dining room at home or their own bedroom, and at school this may be the library or 6th form room. However, are we creating the ‘environment’ to talk freely? There may never be a right time, but we have to do our utmost to make time and this may need to be away from the normal confines of the classroom or the family home. Something as simple as; ‘let’s go out and eat/walk?


De-stressing with animals and getting exercise

 

My own daughter’s university have all sorts of programmes and sessions available to attend to help de-stress. Which are really positively promoted as downtime – including spending time with various appealing animals echoing reports from ‘Child Health and Development’ survey:


Your pet has great healing powers according to researchers at the University of Warwick. A survey published last year in 'Child Care, Health and Development' found that over 90 per cent of children put their pets as their top ten most treasured relationships. Scientists believe that stroking your cat “It’s important to encourage regular exercise to increase a general feeling of wellbeing.”or dog can help you relax and, in turn, lower blood pressure. Doctors claim that this simple action of stroking your pet means that you are switching off from stressful situations such as work and emotional problems.’ - Extracts from the ‘Daily Mail’ Health article.


I know tutors recommend students study in chunks, and of course walking is a brilliant way to escape from the studying and get exercise in the fresh air. One of the many main recommendations in counselling is to encourage regular exercise to increase personal fitness and a general feeling of wellbeing - this is also true for students. Regular exercise is not only a distraction; it releases endorphins vital for improved focus, feeling positive and also helps lower blood pressure and can help to combat depression.


Everyone working within education sector is working towards the same goal to help develop well-rounded, healthy, positive, confident individuals who will go on to realise their dreams. For some, this journey will be trouble free. For those that find it harder to cope we are pulling together to recognise, understand and deliver the support they need.


How does your school combat stress? Let us know below.

Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support us.
When you register, you'll join a grassroots community where you can:
• Enjoy unlimited access to articles
• Get recommendations tailored to your interests
• Attend virtual events with our leading contributors
Register Now
Login

Latest stories

  • How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country
    How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country

    Teaching English in a foreign country is likely to be one of the most demanding experiences you'll ever have. It entails relocating to a new country, relocating to a new home, and beginning a new career, all of which are stressful in and of themselves, but now you're doing it all at once. And you'll have to converse in a strange language you may not understand.

  • Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?
    Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?

    Over the weekend, my family of five went to an Orlando theme park, and I decided we should really enjoy ourselves by purchasing an Unlimited Quick Queue pass. It was so worth the money! We rode every ride in the park at least twice, but one ride required us to ride down a rapidly flowing river, which quenched us with water. It was incredible that my two-year-old was laughing as well. We rode the Infinity Falls ride four times in one day—BEST DAY EVER for FAMILY FUN in the Sun! The entire experience was epic, full of energizing emotions and, most importantly, lots of smiles. What made this ride so cool was that the whole family could experience it together, the motions were on point, and the water was the icing on the cake. It had been a while since I had that type of fun, and I will never forget it.

  • Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2
    Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2

    The Action Pack is back for the start of the brand new school year, just in time for Recycle Week 2021 on 20 - 26 September, to empower pupils to make the world a better and more sustainable place. The free recycling-themed resources are designed for KS1 and KS2 and cover the topics of Art, English, PSHE, Science and Maths and have been created to easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning.

  • Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu
    Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu

    Following the exceptional performance from British breakthrough star Emma Raducanu, who captured her first Grand Slam at the US Open recently, Emmamania is already inspiring pupils aged 4 - 11 to get more involved in tennis - and LTA Youth, the flagship
    programme from The LTA, the governing body of tennis in Britain, has teachers across the country covered.

  • 5 ways to boost your school's eSafety
    5 ways to boost your school's eSafety

    eSafety is a term that constantly comes up in school communities, and with good reason. Students across the world are engaging with technology in ways that have never been seen before. This article addresses 5 beginning tips to help you boost your school’s eSafety. 

  • Tackling inequality in EdTech
    Tackling inequality in EdTech

    We have all been devastated by this pandemic that has swept the world in a matter of weeks. Schools have rapidly had to change the way they operate and be available for key workers' children. The inequalities that have long existed in communities and schools are now being amplified by the virus.

  • EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab
    EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab

    The world is catching up with a truth that we’ve championed at Learning Ladders for the last 5 years - that children’s learning outcomes are greatly improved by teachers, parents and learners working in partnership. 

  • Reducing primary to secondary transition stress
    Reducing primary to secondary transition stress

    As school leaders grapple with the near impossible mission to start bringing more students into schools from 1st June, there are hundreds of thousands of Year 6 pupils thinking anxiously about their move to secondary school.

  • Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?
    Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?

    The K-12 online tutoring market is booming around the world, with recent research estimating it to grow by 12% per year over the next five years, a USD $60bn increase. By breaking down geographic barriers and moving beyond the limits of local teaching expertise, online tutoring platforms are an especially valuable tool for those looking to supplement their studies in the developing world, and students globally are increasingly signing up to online tuition early on in their secondary education schooling. 

  • Employable young people or human robots?
    Employable young people or human robots?

    STEM skills have been a major focus in education for over a decade and more young people are taking science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects at university than ever before, according to statistics published by UCAS. The downside of this is that the UK is now facing a soft skills crisis and the modern world will also require children to develop strong social skills as the workplaces are transformed by technology. 

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"