This is the first semester in which classes aren't online anymore after the pandemic where I lecture (For information, this is in Brazil, and English is not my mother language). It's been two years of classes being online.
This is the second exam I've given and I keep receiving small written phrases that go on the lines of "Sorry, I can't do it", "I'm anxious", "I don't know" and the like. This has never happened to me before, except in very particular cases, but this time it's simply massive. I estimate about 30% of students sharing something like that. When it happens, I usually tell the student - if I can - to search for help. We have psychologists who are ready to help at our university. In my experience, when I see this kind of message, it's not because they're disappointed at their performance as students but rather they are disappointed with themselves in a broader way.
Obviously, these students must have lost the habit of being examined by presential tests during the pandemic. This class consists of new students of my university, and they probably have had a terrible time over their last two years as students.
So, the question is: how do I approach such a large group of students that seem to be having the same problem, aiming to attend to their mental health and, of course, improve their learning?