Youth mental health group now providing tools for parents as HSC starts in NSW.

A youth mental organisation has launched online resources for parents whose children are completing the HSC, to help them cope with stress that accompanies the exams.

Youth mental health organisation, ReachOut, provided support for parents for the first time ever this year, as 77,163 students begin their HSC exams across New South Wales.

The first exam — English — is scheduled for this morning.

ReachOut chief executive Jono Nicholas said the organisation’s digital platforms see an influx of activity in the lead up to the HSC, with more than 130,000 people having accessed its study and stress related content last year.

“We literally received tens of thousands more visits than we normally would, particularly to our services on exam stress, as you would expect, but also just to our general services on depression and feeling down,” he said.

“This, for many, will be one of the most stressful experiences of their life.

“As a mental health service we wanted just to let them know that we’re there for them, but also that there is life after these exams and life can get better if they’re going through a tough time.”

Mr Nicholas said parents often experience the same intensity of exam stress as their teens, prompting his organisation to this year launch targeted resources.

“They really worry about their kids putting too much pressure on themselves,” he said.

HSC can be as stressful for parents as students: mother

Claire Sauerman, whose daughter Roxy will begin her HSC exams today, is familiar with the pressure of HSC exams.

“For a lot of parents it can be as stressful as it is for the student,” she said.


“I think a lot of parents have great expectations and are wanting great outcomes for their own sons and daughters

Ms Sauerman’s daughter, Roxy, who is in Year 12 at Mosman High School, said she was feeling “surprisingly calm” about the HSC, but that tools which helps both teens and parents cope are important.

“Year 12 is a crazy year and kids get so stressed out and I feel like not having a good support network from your parents would make it a lot harder,” she said.

“So I think [resources] definitely would be helpful for parents to know how to manage their stress and things like that because often parents just wouldn’t know.

“They just don’t know how to handle it.”

Most pressure coming from students’ ‘own expectations’

Roxy said most of the pressure she felt has come from her own expectations.

“I feel like the only pressure is really from myself to achieve an expectation that I would like, but I’m really just trying to think about doing the best that I can do,” she said.

“There’s no point in stressing now because there’s not much that you can do to change it.”

Roxy said she hopes to defer a Bachelor of Arts next year and complete a gap year instead.

“I’m quite alright with just seeing how it goes, taking it as it comes.

“Everything will work itself out and I always believe everything happens for a reason.”

This post originally appeared on ABC News.

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