Samaritan Cymru has appealed for wellbeing to come first on exam results day.

The nail biting wait for exam results is almost over – with A-level results due on August 15 in Wales and GSCE grades announced on August 22.

As nerves start to fray, Samaritans Cymru is asking those receiving their marks, and those that care for them, to put wellbeing ahead of grades and ask for help if they’re struggling.

Natasha Devon MBE, mental health campaigner who represents the interests of teenagers and teachers, said: “Increasingly, exam stress is cited as the biggest negative influence on the mental health of the young people I work with. It’s not just the exams themselves, but the way the rest of the academic year ‘points’ at them, building the pressure bit by bit.

“Of course, I’m not going to deny that results are important, but exams and grades only measure a very specific sort of intelligence.

"A grade doesn’t say everything about you and what you have to offer the world. Results don’t give the bigger picture on someone who is developing into an adult – education helps open the mind and shapes us but it’s not the final full stop.”

"Samaritans Cymru is reminding students and parents alike they are there to offer support for anyone, including those who are anxious or those who don’t get the results they were aiming for. "

James Downs from Wales is studying a Masters in Psychology and Education at Cambridge University. James, who has suffered from both anorexia and bulimia for more than 10 years and has used Samaritans for support, knows how the pressures of life can build up.

He said: “Working out next steps and preparing to move onto the next stage in life can be nerve-wracking. I’ve done countless exams and it never gets any easier receiving the results, but what I’ve learnt along the way, is that exam results don’t define you.”

Samaritans volunteers are available around the clock, seven days a week providing emotional support and a listening ear to anyone who needs help. James was inspired to become a Samaritans volunteer after using the service and believes the non-judgemental approach can help thousands of others in similar situations.

He said: “Don’t sweat it on your own – having someone there to listen who is not going to judge you can make the world of difference. That’s why I’d encourage anyone feeling anxious and worried to get in touch with Samaritans. It’s a free and confidential service that available 24 hours a day.

"We won’t judge or tell you what to do and you can talk to us about whatever is on your mind. There’s also a Welsh Language Line for anyone who needs emotional support in Welsh.”

Last year, Samaritans volunteers spent more than one million hours providing emotional support to people who needed help.

• Anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. This number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can email or visit to find details of your nearest branch, where you can talk to one of our trained volunteers face to face. You can also call the Welsh Language Line for FREE on 0808 164 0123 (Please visit for opening times)

• Every six seconds, Samaritans responds to a call for help

• Samaritans is a charity and it’s the public’s kind donations and more than 20,000 volunteers that mean they are always there for anyone struggling to cope. Find out how you can support or volunteer with them.

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