Building the capacity of educators to support primary prevention and early intervention goals with youth at risk for psychological distress
Purpose-To measure the impact of training that incorporates avatar-based role-plays to prepare educators to identify, approach and refer students in psychological distress.
Significance-Early identification and treatment of mental illness, including depression, anxiety and substance abuse can increase quality of life, productivity and lower health care utilization costs. Equipping school-based adults with gatekeeper skills can make a tremendous impact on student mental health.
Data from 303 participants from 38 Ohio schools was analyzed using either a repeated measures analysis of variance or a matched sample t-test.
Results showed significant increases in recognizing signs of psychological distress; likelihood to approach and refer students in distress; and confidence in applying gatekeeper skills. Data from a second longitudinal study demonstrated the durability of learning three months after the training where all measures remained significant. There were also self-reported increases in the number of students recognized to be in psychological distress, approached, and referred for mental health counseling and an increase in the number of conversations among staff about students of concern.
Learning Areas:Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Describe the benefits and impact of online avatar-based training simulations that prepare educators to identify, approach and refer students in psychological distress
Keyword(s): Mental Health, School Health
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Gatekeeper training, suicide prevention, psychological distress, emotional distress, secondary education
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been closely involved in the development and implementation of the training simulation being presented as well as involved in the ongoing research that examines outcome measures. For the past seven years, my work has focused on the application of digital technology to solve public health concerns first as the Assistant Director of the Columbia University Center for New Media Teaching and Learning and now in the private sector at Kognito Interactive.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes
|Name of Organization||Clinical/Research Area||Type of relationship|
|Kognito Interactive||Suicide Prevntion||Employment (includes retainer)|