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UALR, Kognito offers students help for with depression, anxiety | Health

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UALR, Kognito offers students help for with depression, anxiety
Health, Schools
UALR, Kognito offers students help for with depression, anxiety

Kognito Interactive’s web-based, interactive training prepares students, faculty and staff to identify and help students exhibiting signs of mental distress, such as depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide.

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (May 7, 2013) – University of Arkansas at Little Rock has partnered with Kognito Interactive to offer an online, avatar-based gatekeeper training where users learn the common indicators of psychological distress and how best to approach at-risk students for referral to the university’s counseling center. UALR offers two Kognito programs, At-Risk for College Students and At-Risk for Faculty & Staff. Each training program is tailored to a specific type of user: college students and RAs, as well as administrators, faculty and staff, respectively.

“Creating an environment where the UALR community feels comfortable helping one another talk about psychological distress is critical to early intervention and suicide prevention,” said Logan Hampton, Dean of Students. “College is a difficult time for many, and the more tools the university can provide to help its community, the better.”

In a study conducted by Kognito Interactive, students who completed the training were more likely to intervene when a fellow student exhibited signs of depression or suicidal ideation.  

“The At-Risk programs are the first online trainings available to provide realistic and risk-free online role-play exercises in identifying, speaking with, and referring students in need," said Ron Goldman, co-founder and CEO of Kognito. "Developed with input from educators and some of the country's leading authorities on suicide prevention, At-Risk can help connect students to treatment early on which is critical to improving mental health outcomes as well as academic success."

In At-Risk, users assume the role of a faculty member or student (depending on the program) who is concerned about several students. Users first analyze profiles of these virtual students in order to identify the ones who are at-risk. They then engage those students in simulated realistic conversations to determine whether and how to refer them to the campus counseling center. The virtual students are fully animated and possess their own emotional intelligence and memory. The training is completed once the user successfully identifies and refers the proper at-risk students. A demo of At-Risk can be viewed at http://www.kognito.com/demos.

Health, Schools