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Alison Weisselberg, Samaritans
"Results come out at a time when youngsters are quite isolated"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 9 August, 2000, 20:54 GMT 21:54 UK
Samaritans calm exam angst
Kevin the teenager
Kevin is helping to calm exam result anxieties
Kevin the sulky teenager, created by comedian Harry Enfield, is to lead a campaign to help young people overcome the anxieties of the exam results season.

In the next three weeks, teenagers across the United Kingdom will receive the results of their A-levels, GCSEs, and Scottish Standard and Higher grades.

And to help any pupils whose results mean disappointment or anxiety, Kevin will be fronting an information and advice campaign launched by the Samaritans.

Exam results
Not all teenagers will be getting such good news in their results
Exam worries have been identified as a leading cause of suicide attempts among teenagers and the Samaritans are campaigning to help vulnerable youngsters and to raise awareness among parents.

There will be guidance on recognising and responding to stress symptoms such as sleep problems, eating disorders, panic attacks and mood swings.

An internet site, to be launched on Friday, will carry advice for young people and there will be radio adverts highlighting exam worries, featuring television presenter Jamie Theakston.

"Every year a number of young people take their own lives during the exam period," said the chief executive of the Samaritans, Simon Armson.

"These tragic suicides often hit the headlines - the despair that many young people feel is often caused by deep-rooted emotional problems, which can be triggered by the pressure of exams and the expectations of family, peers and teachers."

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See also:

07 Aug 00 | Education
Exams not dumbed down, say heads
04 Aug 00 | Education
Exam overload 'stressing pupils'
28 Jul 00 | Education
Pupils take exams younger
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