A digital toolkit to support students receiving exam results

Image from Shout - Text SHOUT to 85258
Image from Shout - Text SHOUT to 85258
Clare Kelly
by Clare Kelly
13 August 2020

The day exam results are released always creates heightened anxiety, but with COVID-19 delivering unparalleled disruption to the 2020 school year, A-level and GCSE results have been met with greater student anxiety than ever before.

Shout – the UK’s 24/7 crisis text service – regularly experience large spikes in conversation at exam result time. To help parents, teachers and students deal with their increased anxiety, the Shout team have created an online toolkit with advice from mental health clinicians trained in supporting young people during these difficult times.

Tips for students on looking after your mental wellbeing around exam results

“Uncertainty around exam results and concern around letting others down, combined with the rise of perfectionism in society, puts young people under incredible pressure – it’s the perfect storm,” said Dr Thompson, mental health expert and author. “If students are anxious about their exam grades I’d urge them to talk to a friend or family member about their worries and their options and alternatives they might have. If they don’t have anyone they feel comfortable confiding in then the Shout 85258 service provides a confidential and free route for them to find a listening ear and get to a calmer space.”

In the toolkit, Dr Thompson shares important tips that we can all follow to help support students in need, including: 

  • giving students space and time to process their news

  • reframing perceived failure as new opportunities

  • helping them take small, positive actions to feel like they’re back in control 

More than half of the exam-age texters who contact Shout say that they don't feel they can talk to anyone else, highlighting just how important support services and toolkits are during these stressful times. 

Shout uses data-driven analysis and the experience of mental health experts to improve the mental health of the UK population. At its heart has a team of clinical supervisors and more than 2,000 trained volunteers, who help texters reach a place of calm, around the clock. 

Virgin Unite is a proud supporter of Shout and is committed to addressing the mental health impacts of COVID-19 through The Mental Health Fund.