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03 Oct 2022

Mental Health charity urges Leaving Cert students to use its services

KILKENNY

Fiona O'Malley, CEO of Turn2Me

Turn2Me, a national mental health charity, is urging students across the country to use its services when they get their leaving cert results in the morning.

The charity said it runs free support groups most evenings at 6pm and a free 'Thought Catcher' online mood diary every day from 2pm until 8pm where people can post about how they're feeling about their results. The charity stated that young people might be feeling happy, disappointed, or overwhelmed with their leaving cert results but may need support to manage their mental health during this period.

"Even if students are happy with their results and they performed well, they may still be feeling high levels of anxiety as they prepare for the next stage of their lives, whether it's first year of college, a year abroad, going straight into the workplace or repeating the year," Fiona O'Malley, CEO of Turn2Me, said.

"A period of significant transition in a person's life brings feelings of trepidation and uncertainty. Many people find this period overwhelming. Turn2Me offers free, professional mental health services 365 days a year for people over the age of 12 in Ireland. I would encourage any young person, and indeed, any parents, who feel nervous about tomorrow's leaving cert results to use our mental health services. Our support groups and our Thought Catcher services have no waiting lists, so people can sign up on our website, Turn2Me.ie, and start using these services very quickly."

The charity stated that some students may be disappointed, but that there is always another option if young people aren't happy with their results - they might consider a different course, a different career path or even repeating. Turn2Me said that parents can struggle to support their children if they're unhappy with their leaving cert results. The charity suggested that parents sitting with their child can be helpful, as they receive their results. Putting your hand on your child's shoulders or gently rubbing their back may also help.

Not the time for criticism
If your child is disappointed with their results, Turn2Me says immediate criticism isn't helpful. 

"There's no point saying, 'you didn't study hard enough' or 'you should have done better'. It's not the time for criticism."  Fiona O'Malley said.

"If your child is disappointed, they will be in quite a fragile state, so giving out to them will exacerbate feelings of depression or anxiety. After a few hours of letting a young person take in the information they've received, gently approach the topic of 'Plan B' whether it's repeating, going to a study coach, doing a pivot course to another course, or considering another career path. It's important to emphasise that today, there are so many other options available to people. The Leaving Cert isn't the only gateway to success!"

Hard work should be acknowledged!
Turn2Me stated that most young people put a lot of study and hard work into the leaving cert and their hard work should be acknowledged. The charity stated that the leaving cert results should be celebrated, and young people should be praised for all their hard work. 

If you're disappointed, you're not alone
Turn2Me said that so many people are happy with their results, but there are some young people who will be very disappointed.

"If you're disappointed, you're not alone." Fiona O'Malley said.

"So many people will be in the same boat as you. Please, please, please use our services if you need to talk to someone - we have amazing counsellors, psychotherapists and mental health professionals working on our site, Turn2Me.ie, and we run 365 days a year. We offer free support groups on anxiety, depression, grief, and relationship issues most evenings at 6pm; we have a free 'Thought Catcher' mood diary which runs every day from 2pm until 8pm; and we have one-to-one counselling sessions, all available on our website. If you're feeling disappointed, please sign up for our professional mental health services - that's what they're there for." 

Turn2Me said that going for a walk or a run, being around nature, mindfulness and writing down your thoughts can help people deal with disappointment. The charity also encouraged young people to spend time with a loved one or a friend, if they're feeling disappointed in their results.

Turn2Me is encouraging young people and their parents to sign up to their mental health services on Turn2Me.ie.

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