As NSW's year 12 class of 2020 prepare to leave school after an academic year disrupted by a global pandemic, they are being urged to look after their mental health.
NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said more than 60,000 students would leave school next week to finalise their preparations for the HSC exams.
"I know the final year of school was not what the class of 2020 had in mind, yet the resilience of HSC students in the face of uncertainty has been extraordinary, and I am incredibly proud of what this cohort has achieved," Ms Mitchell said.
"With the HSC written exams starting on October 20, we are continuing to remind students to look after their mental health, recognise their resilience and reduce anxiety around the HSC, as part of the Stay Healthy HSC campaign," she said on Wednesday.
The initiative, originally launched in May as a partnership with Reachout Australia, is launching a new hub and social initiatives to connect students, schools, and families with more information on looking after their wellbeing.
"Your teachers are incredible, and your school is full of people who will support you. Never be afraid to put up your hand and ask for help," Ms Mitchell said.
Ashley de Silva, CEO of ReachOut, said that COVID-19 had thrown a range of challenges at HSC students, during what is usually a challenging time of their lives.
"We've heard from young people that disruption and uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has made it difficult to stay focused and manage stress.
"ReachOut has a range of support to help students stay positive, manage distractions, develop positive study habits and routines, self-care, and stay connected. So if you're struggling, help is available at our online study support hub and peer support forums."
Resources for students and parents: https://education.nsw.gov.au/stay-healthy-hsc
Australian Associated Press