Survey finds most parents and students stressed about school and college

The largest-ever study on Ireland's youth mental health has been launched in UCD this morning.

The college is teaming up with Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, to carry out a nationwide survey.

Meanwhile, a separate survey by Zenflore revealed that an overwhelming majority of parents and students are stressed about being back at school and college.

The new survey found that the cost of education was highlighted as the biggest factor for parents, with 77% of respondents citing it as a problem.

For students, the biggest stress is doing well in exams, followed by money worries.

However, for parents, doing well in exams is less important than their child making new friends, or even knowing where their child is.

Ted Dinan, Professor of Psychiatry at UCC, says excessive stress can have a negative impact on people's mental health.

Prof. Dinan said: "Stress in low levels is good for us all, I mean it makes us perform better.

"But, of course, if stress is excessive, if students going back to universities are under major financial pressure and they have to work outside the university for excessive hours and they are under an awful lot of stress and strain, that can lead to mental health issues.

"Even for students returning to college after a summer break, there is the added challenge of new classes, new friends and perhaps a new location."

    The survey also found that:

  • Almost two-thirds of parents and students have trouble sleeping due to day to day stress
  • Three out of four students feel their parents are stressed
  • One in four students said they feel stressed at the end of the day and find it hard to concentrate
  • Over 50% of students have difficulty concentrating in class or on study because of day-to-day stress
  • Almost three out of four third level students said they knew someone who had dropped out of college because of stress

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