It's time to recharge and rest after a tough year

Now's the time of year to be kind to yourself

For many young people across NSW, the release of year 12 results this week will be cause for celebration and the perfect end to their time at high school. But for young people who are disappointed with their results, this time of year can bring increased feelings of stress and uncertainty.

But the entire class of 2021 have many reasons to be proud, regardless of their results.

COVID-19 has made the past two years a challenging time, but especially for young people, who have been impacted disproportionately by the events of 2020 and 2021.

Not only have their work and study been disrupted, but they've been separated from the family and friends they rely on for support - all at a critical time in their development.

Still, young people have displayed tremendous resilience throughout this time and completing high school in this climate is itself a wonderful achievement.

With that in mind, headspace encourages school leavers to be kind to themselves at this time of year.

Take time to rest and recharge after what has been a tough end to high school. Now is a great time for young people to catch up with friends and family from whom they were separated throughout 2021.

It's also an important time for young people to seek help if they are feeling distressed, or if they want some guidance about their next steps.

That might mean talking to a family member, friend or trusted teacher, teacher, who are important supports for young people during this period of change.

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If you have a young person in your life who is upset or worried right now:

  • Encourage them to continue taking small, everyday steps that promote a healthy headspace: keeping active, getting good sleep, eating well, maintaining social connections, and cutting back on alcohol or other drugs.
  • Reassure them their futures are bright.
  • Offer some perspective. There are many different pathways young people can take to fulfil their dreams. Their performance at high school does not determine their worth, or their future.

Young people and their families who require more support can reach out to a professional service, like headspace.

On top of our mental health programs, headspace also has a team of work and study specialists.

We can provide personalised support to help young people build their professional confidence, develop job-seeking skills and explore employment and educational opportunities.

For more support, visit headspace.org.au/services/work-and-study-support

Jason Trethowan is the CEO of headspace