Reaching Out: When and How to Seek Support


Feeling overwhelmed during exam season is completely normal, but it’s important to recognise when it’s time to seek support. Whether you’re struggling with stress, anxiety, or just need someone to talk to, reaching out for help is a sign of strength. Let’s explore when and how to seek support effectively.

Recognising the Signs of Stress and Burnout

Understanding the signs of stress and burnout is the first step in seeking support. Here are some common indicators:

  1. Persistent sadness or anxiety: Feeling down or anxious most of the time.
  2. Difficulty concentrating: Finding it hard to focus on studies or tasks.
  3. Changes in sleeping or eating habits: Experiencing insomnia or changes in appetite.
  4. Physical symptoms: Headaches, stomach aches, or other unexplained physical issues.
  5. Loss of interest: Losing interest in activities you usually enjoy.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to address them early.

Talk to a Trusted Person

The first step in seeking support is talking to someone you trust. This could be a friend, family member, or teacher. Sharing your feelings with someone can help lighten the emotional load and provide a fresh perspective. Don’t hesitate to express how you’re feeling – sometimes, just talking about your worries can make them seem more manageable.

Utilise School Resources

At SBUSixth, we offer various support services designed to help you through tough times. Here are some resources you can take advantage of:

  1. Counselling services: Professional counsellors can provide a safe space to discuss your concerns and offer strategies to manage stress.
  2. Academic support: If you’re struggling with coursework, reach out to your teachers or academic advisors for help. They can offer guidance and resources to improve your study habits.
  3. Peer support groups: Connecting with peers who are going through similar experiences can provide mutual support and understanding.

Seek Professional Help

If your feelings of stress or anxiety are persistent and overwhelming, it might be time to seek professional help. A mental health professional, such as a psychologist or therapist, can offer specialised support and treatment. They can work with you to develop coping strategies tailored to your specific needs.

Online Resources and Hotlines

There are numerous online resources and hotlines available for mental health support. Websites and apps like Headspace, Calm, and Mind provide helpful tools and information. If you need immediate support, hotlines such as Samaritans (116 123) are available 24/7 for confidential help.

Self-Care Practices

While seeking support is crucial, incorporating self-care practices into your routine can also help manage stress. Here are some simple self-care activities:

  1. Exercise regularly: Physical activity can boost your mood and energy levels.
  2. Eat healthily: A balanced diet can improve your overall well-being.
  3. Get enough sleep: Prioritise sleep to ensure your body and mind are well-rested.
  4. Practice mindfulness: Techniques like meditation and deep breathing can help calm your mind.
  5. Engage in hobbies: Spend time doing things you enjoy to relax and recharge.


Recognising when to seek support and knowing how to access it is essential during exam season. Remember, reaching out for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Whether you talk to a trusted person, utilise school resources, seek professional help, or incorporate self-care practices into your routine, there are many ways to manage stress and maintain your well-being. You’re not alone – help is always available.

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