University of Nevada, Reno Counselling Services has launched a role-play simulation program to allow faculty, staff and students the opportunity to help someone experiencing mental distress. Kognito is an online, interactive simulation that gives an individual the tools to make the campus a safe and supportive community that promotes mental well-being.
The role-playing aspect of Kognito allows the user to practice conversational skills and empathy. It helps the user prepare to lead real-life conversations with others that build resilience, strengthen relationships and connect them with support. While it allows the user to improve their relationship with those around them, it also helps them gain self-confidence. They are given tools to cope with stressful situations and how to advocate for themselves.
Kognito has been a leading provider of practice-based digital learning experiences that offer strategies to enhance mental health and well-being on campuses, in classrooms, and communities for 20 years. Through Counselling Services, the platform is now accessible across the entire campus. It provides two different training choices for faculty, staff, and students. The student course can be finished in 30 minutes. Students who choose the At-Risk Mental Health for Students option will learn to identify symptoms of mental distress in their friends, how to check in with them, and how to approach them about seeking professional treatment when necessary.
The platform further provides At-Risk Mental Health for Faculty and Staff. In 45 minutes, faculty and staff will learn how to recognize the signs of mental distress in students and learn techniques for approaching them and referring them to Counseling Services, if needed.
Kognito claims that more than 1.5 million users have completed a practice-based learning experience. The company is changing lives by fostering conversations around important topics, including suicide prevention, social-emotional learning, violence prevention, substance use, and more. Its simulations are built on research, neuroscience, and social cognition. It uses a conversation platform and virtual practice environment to guide users in meaningful discussions on complex and challenging social and mental health-related topics.
Counselling Services operates within a short-term or intermittent individual treatment model to maximize its resources in meeting student counselling needs. It aims to improve students’ resilience to distress and their repertoire of coping strategies as they navigate through their university experience, empowering them to overcome barriers to their success. It offers virtual relaxation tools, emergency helplines, same-day appointments and group therapy options. Kognito is the newest way Counselling Services tries to make the campus a safe and supportive community. Faculty, staff and students may access Kognito on the Counselling Services website, and the user will then be prompted to log in with their NetID.