At-Risk for Middle School Educators


(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)


Kognito Interactive

The cost of At-Risk for Middle School Educators ranges from $5 to $30 per user, depending on the number and length of the licenses purchased. Discounts for county and statewide implementations are available. Contact Kognito Interactive for details.

See This Resource

Kognito At-Risk for Middle School Educators is a 50-minute, online, interactive gatekeeper training program that teaches middle school educators and staff how to (1) identify students exhibiting signs of psychological distress, including depression and thoughts of suicide, (2) approach students to discuss their concern, and (3) make a referral to school support personnel. During the training, learners assume the role of a middle school teacher concerned about three students. Learners explore each student’s profile, including descriptions of social and classroom behavior. Then they engage in simulated conversations with each student. In these virtual conversations, users learn effective conversation strategies for broaching the topic of psychological distress, motivating the student to seek help, and avoiding pitfalls, such as attempting to counsel. Specific attention is paid to increasing student resiliency, discerning situations of potential bullying and/or cyber-bullying, and intervening when concerned for a student’s immediate safety.

The program was developed by Kognito Interactive with input from a group of mental health experts who were highly involved in content development and review, including experts from Mental Health America of Texas. Over 100 middle school counselors and teachers provided feedback in multiple online focus groups and user-testing sessions.

Program Objectives

After training, middle school educators should have increased:

  1. Knowledge of signs of student psychological distress including verbal, behavioral and situational clues.
  2. Motivation to approach students to discuss their concern, and if necessary, refer.
  3. Knowledge of how to communicate with at-risk students and motivate them to seek help.
  4. Knowledge about prevalence of psychological distress and suicidality among middle school students.
  5. Knowledge of how to handle a situation when concerned that a student may plan to harm him/herself.
  6. Knowledge of local resources and referral points for at-risk students.

Implementation Essentials

  • The At-Risk for Middle School Educators Implementation Manual should be thoroughly reviewed prior to program implementation.
  • Teachers and staff who use At-Risk for Middle School Educators should be aware of their school’s referral policies and protocols.
  • At-Risk for Middle School Educators is most effective when used as part of a middle school’s larger strategic plan to identify and help at-risk students.

2012 NSSP Objectives Addressed: 

Objective 7.1: Provide training on suicide prevention to community groups that have a role in the prevention of suicide and related behaviors.