COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation (OSPF) (www.ohiospf.org), and New York City-based Kognito Interactive (www.kognito.com), today announced OSPF's adoption of Kognito's online, interactive At-Risk for High School Educators as a key element of its "Campaign for Hope," a three-year youth suicide prevention campaign funded with a $1.4 million grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA).
"Our goal is to provide at least 20,000 educators with Kognito's At-Risk training by the end of 2014," said Carolyn Givens, OSPF executive director. "This one-hour training simulation, in which educators practice interacting with life-like student avatars exhibiting signs of depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide is an innovative, and critical, component in bolstering our ability to identify at-risk youth and connect them with services."
The statistics in Ohio are compelling, she noted. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death nationally for youth ages 15-21 and Ohio data indicates that 148 young Ohioans died by suicide in 2009. The training will be implemented starting in January 2012 by OSPF and its 75 Suicide Prevention Coalitions.
"At-Risk for High School Educators is the first online training available to provide realistic and risk-free role-play exercises in identifying, speaking with, and referring troubled youth," said Ron Goldman, co-founder and CEO of Kognito. "Developed with input from some of the country's leading authorities on youth suicide prevention and hundreds of educators, it can help connect students to treatment early on -- critical to improving mental health outcomes."
Launched in 2010, At-Risk for High School Educators is listed in the Suicide Prevention Resource Center/American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention and is one of the first simulations to be added to this prestigious national registry. A recent Kognito study (www.kognito.com/efficacy) of more than 300 teachers in 40 states showed that those who completed the At-Risk training were significantly more likely to identify and talk to high-school students exhibiting signs of psychological distress and refer them for professional help. Demos and trailers of the At-Risk trainings are available online at http://www.kognito.com/ .
SOURCE Kognito Interactive