More adolescents are reporting anxiety owing to a ‘huge number of exams’, expert says

The enormous pressure pupils face to succeed at school is fuelling a rise in mental health problems among millennials, according to an expert in neuroscience.

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, who is professor of cognitive neuroscience at University College London, was speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival.

She said that teenagers were having to sit more exams, and they had got tougher compared with when she took them 20 years ago.

“We have become much more grade focused,” she added. “Young people feel so much pressure to perform well in the huge number of exams they have to do.”

Ms Blakemore made her comments as she explained that as stigma around mental health problems declines, more adolescents are admitting to experiencing difficulties.

Another fact that she said could be fuelling anxiety was young people’s concerns about the future, such as job prospects and getting on the housing ladder when they are older.

Read the full article in Tes.

Healthy MindED, the UK’s first and only pupil-led mental health initiative established by SCHOOLS NorthEast, runs ‘Voice of the Pupil’ focus groups with schools across the region. If your school would like to get involved, please contact Christopher Hawkins, Policy Officer (e) c.hawkins@schoolsnortheast.com (t) 0191 204 8866. 

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