From: Kognito
Published: Tue Aug 17 2010

Kognito, an award-winning developer of online role-playing simulations where users learn to manage challenging conversations, has launched a solution to teach high school educators to effectively recognize and refer at-risk youth experiencing psychological distress and thoughts of suicide. At-Risk for High School Educators is the latest addition to Kognito’s At-Risk suite of products, designed in concert with leading mental and behavioral health experts. A version At-Risk for university faculty is currently being used in over 50 universities nationwide. Demos of the At-Risk product are available online at http://www.kognito.com/atrisk.

According to a CDC study, 14.5% of high school students had seriously considered suicide in the previous 12 months, and 6.9% had attempted suicide one or more times.. With over 14.9 million students currently enrolled in grades nine to 12 nationwide, identifying at-risk high school students and referring them to professional mental health support services has become a strong priority in many states. New Jersey, Illinois, and California are among several states that mandate gatekeeper training - education on how to recognize and refer someone at risk - to all high school educators. Kognito’s At-Risk for High School Educators meets the pressing, immediate need for a gatekeeper training solution and does so cost-effectively and efficiently using advanced educational technology, evidence-based teaching tactics and an easy-to-use online interface.
At-Risk for High School Educators is a one-hour online, interactive program in which users assume the role of a high school teacher and engage in simulated conversations with emotionally responsive student avatars exhibiting signs of depression, thoughts of suicide, and drug abuse. The virtual students are capable of visually and verbally expressing emotions in reaction to users’ comments during the conversation, effectively replicating real life interaction. In these virtual role-plays, users learn motivational interviewing techniques such as open-ended questions and reflective listening to effectively broach the topic of psychological distress, motivate the at-risk student to seek help and avoid common pitfalls, such as attempting to counsel the student or diagnose the problem.

Kognito’s At-Risk has been shown to be a highly effective solution for gatekeeper training. A survey conducted in 72 universities with 1,415 faculty members to assess At-Risk for University Faculty showed that over 80% reported increased awareness that identifying and referring students is part of their job role. 87% reported they were better prepared to identify, approach, and refer students exhibiting signs of psychological distress. Fully 97% of respondents said the use of virtual role-play exercises was an effective instructional tool.

"At-Risk for High School Educators is the first online training solution that provides realistic and risk-free role-play exercises in identifying, speaking with, and referring at-risk youth," said Ron Goldman, co-founder and CEO of Kognito. "The decision to create this product was driven by strong interest from school districts and state agencies who recognized the value of At-Risk for University Faculty for academic institutions and the cost-effectiveness of an online solution accessible around the clock."

The At-Risk programs provide schools and government agencies with several customizable features and built-in program assessment and tracking tools that monitor progress and simplify the reporting process. Scheduled for rollout by select states in September, At-Risk for High School Educators is currently available for license by state and local agencies. To inquire about implementing At-Risk, please visit www.kognito.com/atrisk, call 212-675-9234, or email info@kognito.com

About Kognito
Kognito is an award-winning developer of online role-playing simulations, where users develop interpersonal skills and learn to effectively manage challenging conversations in the areas of health and behavioral health. Simulations are built using Kognito's proprietary Human Interaction Simulation Platform™ which is based on research in social cognition, neuroscience, and motivational interviewing. In these simulations, learners enter virtual environments, engage in practice conversations with emotionally responsive avatars, and receive personalized feedback. Kognito’s flagship product line, At-Risk, is successfully used by over 50 academic institutions and several states and federal agencies to train teachers, students, families of veterans, and health providers to recognize and refer those exhibiting signs of psychological distress, thoughts of suicide, and PTSD. Headquartered in New York City, the company has received numerous prestigious awards including the 2009 Training Product of the Year and the 2007 and 2008 Learning Leader Awards. For more information, visit http://www.kognito.com.

Company: Kognito
Contact Name: southardcommunications
Contact Email: alex@southardinc.com
Contact Phone: 212-777-2220

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