Take the stress out of exam season

It's that time of year again - the weather's finally getting warmer and teenagers and young people across the county are hitting the books studying for exams. 

It's also Mental Health Awareness Week this week - so what better time than now to share some tips about how to cope with exam stress. 

Our Family Information Service and Young Minds have bags of advice for both parents and students to help make exam time as straightforward as possible. 

Their tips include how to best prepare for exams by breaking down study time into manageable chunks, to remembering to keep it all in perspective - you can find out more at the Buckinghamshire Family Information Service website here and the Young Minds website here.

As MyBucks readers will know, Buckinghamshire County Council is a great supporter of raising awareness about mental health in general and is marking Mental Health Awareness Week this week by sharing messages of advice and support to help people to improve their mental well-being. 

This is what Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, Noel Brown, has to say:

"One of the best ways to start improving your mental wellbeing is to talk to someone about how you are feeling. That could be a close friend, or relative or even your GP if you find them easy to talk with, or a close colleague from work.

Someone from one of the local Mental Health support organisations would also be a good start as they are trained to help people talk about their problems, knowing how hard it may be for them.

Many say that just starting to talk about a problem lifts a weight off of their minds, and you will probably have found someone to help you find the right support as well."

If you'd like further help or advice on coping with stress, contact Healthy Minds Bucks, an Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust service which offers help over the phone and in person. You can self-refer to Healthy Minds Bucks by calling 01865 901600, by texting “Talk” and your name to 07798 667169, or complete the online referral form at www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/healthyminds/contact 

Buckinghamshire MIND has a variety of local information including support and local community-based services at their website www.bucksmind.org.uk

If you are having a difficult time, the Samaritans are available to talk to 24/7, you can call them FREE on 116 123 or visit their website at www.samaritans.org

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call 111 or 999 for immediate assistance.

Time to Change Buckinghamshire is working to tackle the stigma that can often be experienced by people with mental health problems. To find out more about our work or to get involved go to www.timetochangebucks.org

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