URGENT help required please. Serious problem.


needs to get out more!
S: 14st13lb C: 12st12lb G: 9st13lb BMI: 30 Loss: 2st1lb(13.88%)

My husband and I are teachers in China. Students here are under a lot of pressure from their parents / society / schools to be the best and get the highest results possible. The school involved has extremely high results & academically brilliant students (equivalent to Eton in the UK).

As a result the students (16-19 year olds) are very stressed at the moment and it has come to our attention in the last couple of days that a lot of the girls are self harming, starting to stop eating / making themselves sick or comfort eating because food is the only thing they feel they have control over.

What I am asking for is ideas that we can use to help build the students self confidence - I was wondering about using Beck's credit system. But are there any things you do to help the issues you have with food or councellors out there who have ideas we could use to help the students. The school councellor is involved but obviously the ideas of help here are different to those in other places in the world and mental health issues are delt with very differently.

We are seriously worried about some of the students, so advice / ideas / websites / books ASAP would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

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Spam Hunter
S: 17st12lb C: 12st4lb G: 10st10lb BMI: 27.3 Loss: 5st8lb(31.2%)
It really sounds that it is just the very nature of the school that is causing these problems. Just reading the first paragraph made me think that there is a whole load of pressure that no student should have to deal with. I'd think the only thing that would help these people would be for them to leave the school as the pressure is obviously too much for them.

Sorry I have nothing more constructive to add. Someone else will. You are obviously very caring people and a credit to the school x


A little of everything!
S: 12st13lb C: 11st0lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 28.2 Loss: 1st13lb(14.92%)
One I've seen recommended elsewhere is
beat : Help and Support
Maybe they'll be able to advise you how you can help these girls? Self-harming and ed tend to stem from a need for control in what they feel is an out-of-control world (and by the sound of it- their school environment is very intense and could definately cause a feeling of being helpless & unable to cope?)
Obviously the ideal would be to remove the pressure- but I don't think this is an option? Especially in a culture that thrives on peer pressure & excellent exam results? Is there any room for extra-curricular activities- soemthing that may allow them to let off steam in other ways? Maybe help them 'forget' about exams/studying for a few hrs a day?


needs to get out more!
S: 14st13lb C: 12st12lb G: 9st13lb BMI: 30 Loss: 2st1lb(13.88%)
Thanks for replying! I really appreciate it - its like your own children having problems when you are a teacher!

There is no option of them being removed from the school. Its not this one schools fault - its the parents & society's attitude in general to education here, because there are so many people in the country you have to get higher results to stand out for the good jobs. Speaking to other students in other schools, thats just how it is. They already have extra curricular activies they can take part in, but as the year has progressed, the students are starting to drop them. They also take the extra curricular activities very seriously (as seriously as their studies) and want to be the best at them as well!! So its the pressure the students are putting themselves under. 80% on a test isnt good enough according to them!

I shall certainly look in to BEAT - thanks!

Any other ideas people, would be greatly appreciated.



Bouncing back
I used to be one of those stress head students, comfort eating was my thing... I think as a teacher the best thing you can do is really praise your students and be incredibly positive because it really builds confidence.

Other than that I don't think there's much you can do... if its a social pressure more than an educational pressure.

Good luck!!!



Silver Member
S: 19st3lb C: 19st3lb G: 9st9lb BMI: 46.2 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
It's a serious problem if it's a combination of educational, societal and peer pressures, and I don't envy your job - but I think you're a star!
I'd agree wholeheartedly with extra-curricular (non-competitive) activities and loads of praise. Another idea that we use in autism (bright kids with Asperger's often think 100 is the only acceptable mark) is using social stories, originally developed by Carole Gray, to explore "failure" and achievable personal goals. It might help your pupils.