YOUNG Bankies have been urged to get enough sleep and think positively as the number of children contacting Childline about exam stress doubles.

Counselling sessions for girls who gave their location as Scotland jumped from 53 in 2015-16 to 108 in 2016-17, while contacts from boys were less frequent but they also rose from just five in 2015-2016 to 20.

With some callers not stating gender, the total number of sessions delivered to children in Scotland rose from 106 to 150.

More than a fifth of these took place in May as pupils faced upcoming exams with many telling counsellors they were struggling with subjects, excessive workloads and feeling unprepared, with youngsters stating the stress can contribute to depression, anxiety, panic attacks, excessive crying, low self-esteem, self-harming and suicidal thoughts, or even make pre-existing mental health conditions worse.

A Childline counsellor in the Glasgow base said: “I was contacted by a 15-year-old girl called Sam from Scotland a few times as she wanted to talk about a number of issues that were worrying her such as her appearance and fighting with her brother.

“After a long chat Sam was able to identify that her exams were causing her stress. She had been trying to tell her parents that she was worried about her exams and while they had tried to help her she was still overwhelmed with the amount of revision she had.”

Parents have been advised not to put unnecessary pressure on children and ensure they take regular breaks, eat and exercise as well as leaving them space to work and being supportive.

Children and young people can contact Childline for free, confidential support and advice, 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or at