CHILDREN across Dorset are being offered vital advice from Childline to help avoid overwhelming exam stress.

Thousands of young people across the UK are turning to Childline for help as they struggle to cope with the pressure of exam stress.

New figures from the NSPCC-service reveal that it delivered 3,135 counselling sessions on exam stress in 2016/17 – a rise of 11 per cent over the past two years.

More than a fifth of these took place in May as pupils faced upcoming exams with many telling counsellors they were struggling with subjects, excessive workloads and feeling unprepared.

Worryingly young people are consistently telling counsellors exam stress can contribute to depression, anxiety, panic attacks, excessive crying, low self-esteem, self-harming and suicidal thoughts, or even make pre-existing mental health conditions worse.

Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC said: “Every year we hear from thousands of children who are struggling to cope with the pressure to succeed in exams. For some this can feel so insurmountable that it causes crippling anxiety and stress and in some cases contributes to mental health issues or even suicidal thoughts and feelings.

“Exams are important but worrying and panicking about them can be counterproductive, leaving young people unable to revise and prepare. It is vital that young people are supported by family, friends and teachers during the exam period to help them do the best they can. Childline is also here 24/7 for any young person needing confidential support and advice.”

Young people taking exams should make sure you take regular breaks from revising and do some exercise; go to bed at a reasonable time and try and get some sleep; try to think positively and remember that everyone is different and you should not try to compare yourself to your friends.

Dame Esther Rantzen, founder and president of Childline added: “I am very distressed that so many young people are turning to Childline because they have nobody else to confide in safely when they are desperately anxious.

“We need to recognise how stressful exams can be, and reassure our young people and support them through these tough times which I remember only too well in my life, and my children’s lives.”

Young people can contact Childline for free, confidential support and advice, 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or at