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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Study Finds Virtual Role-Play with Avatars Increases Likelihood that Teachers will Act to Prevent Youth Suicide

Study conducted among high school teachers in 40 states shows that a new online, interactive training simulation results in statistically significant gains in the likelihood that teachers will intervene with a student exhibiting signs of psychological distress, including depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.

Key Findings
The study analyzed the results of surveys taken by teachers who completed Kognito’s At-Risk for High School Educators online training simulation versus teachers from a control group who did not.

The results of the study strongly suggest that the training simulation significantly increases:

1. Teachers’ ability to identify, approach, and refer at-risk students
2. Teachers’ confidence in their ability to help a suicidal student
3. The likelihood that teachers will intervene when faced with a student at risk for psychological distress and suicide. over 97% of participants who received the training indicated they were likely or very likely to approach such a student.

These results were consistent and statistically significant across demographic characteristics which suggest that the At-Risk for High School Educators program is effective for educators regardless of age, gender, and tenure.

The study also found that the interpersonal skills and tactics taught in At-Risk such as using open-ended questions, reflective listening and other motivational interviewing tactics can assist teachers in effectively conducting other challenging conversations they have with their students regarding classroom behavior and academic performance.

Related links
The results of the study are available at
Results from a National Study at 40 States in the U.S. (PDF).

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 75 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

Source: PRWeb