Mental health support is on hand for local students experiencing an academic year like no other.

Following a national pandemic, the closure of colleges and distress over A–Level results, the impact on the mental health of pupils is a concern for our Open Minds service.

NAViGO Open Minds offers a variety of services providing advice, guidance and therapy with trained professionals on hand to deliver support for individuals experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression.

Team manager Sara Munton said: “Many young people may be feeling anxious and stressed by the uncertainty, have feelings of unfairness and missed opportunity and generally feel lost and concerned about the impact on their future.

“It’s really important to remember that exam results do not define who you are and they do not define your future. However, at this very moment, it can feel very overwhelming and so it is important to acknowledge and tackle the way you are feeling, be that by talking to family, friends, a teacher or someone from Open Minds.”

Open Minds offer a range of quick access and support to a range of treatments including guided self-help, cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling.

We're also keen to share some useful hints and tips young people can do to support mental health and wellbeing at this difficult time:

  • Take time out: Try to remain calm. Give yourself five minutes to think about the results you have received. Take deep breaths.
  • Talk: Discuss how you are feeling with your friends, family or a teacher. It can help you to understand and process your feelings but also think about your next steps.
  • Listen: Your friends and classmates are likely to be feeling the same way. Listen to their concerns. Not only will it help them but you may feel less alone too.
  • Ask for help: Your teachers will have helped lots of other students who are preparing for college and university. They’ll have lots of useful information and support services for you.
  • Be kind to yourself: Exams are just one part of your life. They do not define who you are as a person.

Sara added: “Remember, NAViGO Open Minds are here for you – telephone (01472) 625100 or go online.

NAViGO Open Minds is a dedicated Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service – a national talking therapies initiative to help support people to overcome depression and anxiety and better manage their mental health.

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