Exam stress is a significant problem in India. With rising competition the exam time is almost like a nightmare for many students. The students unable to cope with the stress of scoring well and meeting the expectations of teachers and parents have even turned to violent measures like suicide. According to the latest data sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs by all Indian states and union territories, 26,000 students killed themselves in three years since 2014. The number for the year 2016 itself accounted to 9474 students which is one suicide every hour approximately.
Other than these extreme cases, students who don’t show suicidal tendencies also suffer in terms of mental health because of the exam stress. According to a survey conducted by Mirinda in association with Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare, amongst 6,431 school going students in 9 cities, 86% students said that they are unable to spend time in any kind of physical activity during the time of their examinations. 82% students felt that socializing with their friends and family becomes equally difficult during the examinations due to the stress related to exams.
As the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) examination for Class X and XII began, Mirinda and Fortis Healthcare joined their efforts to help provide practical solutions for students to overcome exam-related stress. The initiative by the entities called as ‘Release The Pressure’ campaign, addresses the issue of parental pressure as well as fear, stress and anxiety among students during exams.
The campaign focuses on the philosophy of 45/15, which encourages the students to take a break of 15 minutes after every 45 minutes of studying. Dr. Samir Parikh, Director, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare has said, “Following the 45/15 philosophy will help students not only maximize their attention and concentration span, but also optimize retention.”
In addition to raising awareness about 45/15 philosophy, a 24*7 helpline number has been set up at +91 83768 04102, for parents and students to gain instant access to expert psychologists. Through this helpline number, trained counselors are interacting and counseling parents and students to help them deal better with exam stress. The helpline has been receiving over 500 calls per day from over 70 cities in India, including Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Jaipur, Bengaluru, Chennai, Latur, Jammu, Faizabad, Jalandhar, Moradabad, Kanpur, Pune, and Varanasi.
‘‘Exam stress is a far more prevalent problem in our nation than we realize. Society as a whole needs to acknowledge the intensity of the problem and take effective measures to help students cope with the pressure,” said Dr. Parikh.
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The CSR Journal Team