headspace Lake Haven offers support and strategies for local young people on the eve of 2019 Higher School Certificate exams

FREE HELP: Helen Isenhour said headspace offered one-on-one sessions with young people to give them strategies to get through stressful times such as the HSC. Picture: David Stewart
FREE HELP: Helen Isenhour said headspace offered one-on-one sessions with young people to give them strategies to get through stressful times such as the HSC. Picture: David Stewart

Higher School Certificate (HSC) exams start this month, so headspace Lake Haven has some useful tips for students to reduce stress and be as organised as possible.

The manager of headspace Lake Haven, Helen Isenhour, said the HSC exam period could be a challenging and overwhelming time in some young people's lives.

"We often have students reach out for help at this time of year," she said.

"headspace can offer support and strategies to get through a busy and stressful exam schedule."

Ms Isenhour said taking the time to plan was important for students to feel more confident and organised.

"Make a study plan that balances study times with break times and other important things in your life," she said.

"Create a study space that is comfortable, quiet, well lit, organised, and has no distractions nearby."

Ms Isenhour said self-care was crucial.

"Build activities you enjoy - and that bring your stress levels down - into your study plan," she said.

"Don't go hungry - fuel yourself and your brain with nutritional snacks that keep you going and remember to get some exercise."

Ms Isenhour emphasised the need for rest and relaxation.

"Make time for sleep - getting a good night's sleep is vital to re-charge your brain and body," she said.

"Meanwhile try to stay focussed by saying no to parties close to the exams, switching off your phone to avoid distractions while studying, and don't use drugs and alcohol as it can make it harder to study and focus.

"Ask for help from those around you - whether it's feedback from teachers, group study with classmates or talking to your family and friends."

Ms Isenhour said good preparation would help students feel ready for their exams and reduce their stress.

"Use previous exam papers to get a feel for what to expect and reading or writing everything three times can help commit the information to memory," she said.

"If you feel like your stress levels are getting too high and your usual strategies aren't working see your GP, talk to a friend or parent, or seek professional help."

headspace centres act as a one-stop-shop for young people who need help with mental health, physical health (including sexual health), alcohol and other drugs or work and study support.

  • If school work is worrying you or your loved one, headspace can help. Contact headspace Lake Haven on 4394 9100.

Free wellbeing toolkits on October 9

WEDNESDAY, October 9, is headspace day, a national day of support for the mental health and wellbeing of all young Australians.

On headspace day young Australians are encouraged to learn simple tips to help them build and maintain a healthy headspace.

headspace Lake Haven will be handing out wellbeing toolkits for young people on headspace day. The toolkits will provide practical ways for young people can look after their mental health.

What's in the toolkit?

  • a wellbeing plan to guide young people through a few easy steps to identify what can work for them and how they can take action;
  • a phone speaker and seed pack to encourage getting into life;
  • a notebook and fidget cube to encourage different ways to handle tough times;
  • conversation cards to encourage building relationships;
  • recipe cards to encourage healthy eating and drinking;
  • a sweatband to encourage being active; and
  • a sleep mask to encourage sleep.

There's also a digital kit available via headspace.org.au

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