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Virtual program helps teachers acknowledge students’ mental health

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DULUTH, MN-- Minnesota's Departments of Health and Education have teamed up to provide more training when it comes to learning about students' mental health, it's called "At-Risk".

The departments collaborated with the New York tech support company Kognito.
"It's a program that is beautifully designed for remote learning today because it's online," said Jennifer Spiegler, the companies Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships.

With the virtual program, the departments will be able to help teachers recognize signs of suicide in their students. "It's really looking at a spectrum of behaviors and situations," added Spieler.

Officials at Kognito said the virtual training is not just for teachers but for anyone who works in a school.

Spiegler said, "It's not good enough to just train counselors. You have to train everybody, and by everybody we really mean teachers. But also security guards, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, after-school staff, office staff."

Those at Kognito claim the idea for this type of program came after the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech.

"They thought every educator in this country should know how to identify, approach, and refer a student in distress so these kinds of incidents don't happen," said Spiegler.

The virtual program is now available for educators across the state and is offered to elementary, middle, and high school staff.

CBS3 did reach out to both departments and Minnesota school districts for comment, we did not hear back.

Emma Quinn

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