|  July 30, 2014  |  
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New Suicide Prevention Training Available For Alaska High School Staff

ANCHORAGE — Alaska’s high school teachers, administrators, and staff now have a new prevention tool to address the state’s high rate of youth suicide, available at no cost to them.

Kognito At-Risk is a nationally recognized Web-based program that uses virtual role-play to train personnel on how to appropriately identify and engage with students at risk for suicide.

Access to the evidence-based program is a joint project of the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council, the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development, and the Alaska Association of Student Governments; it was funded by a legislative appropriation.

“The fact that Alaska’s high school student leaders came to the Council with a resolution supporting making the program available to their teachers, coaches, and others speaks to its importance,” said Council Executive Director Kate Burkhart.

The suicide rate for Alaskans age 15–24 was 46/100,000 in 2010, compared to 7.8/100,000 for age 15–19 and 12.5/100,000 for age 20–24 nationally. 

“Offering this training is an important step in fostering safe and healthy communities,” said Alaska Education Commissioner Mike Hanley. “This outreach emphasizes the vital role that educators play in our communities.”

To learn more about the Alaska High School Kognito At-Risk Project, go to https://highschool.kognito.com/alaska or contact the project coordinator, Tom Chard, thomas.chard@alaska.gov, or Sharon Fishel, school mental health, counseling and suicide prevention coordinator, Department of Education & Early Development, sharon.fishel@alaska.gov.

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