Texas Woman’s faculty and staff are ideally positioned to recognize when a student is struggling emotionally and may need help. Now there’s another tool to help them help students.
TWU Student Life has partnered with Kognito, an interactive, online, evidence-based training that will help faculty and staff develop awareness, knowledge, skills and confidence to talk with students about emotional and mental health issues.
“I think many in higher education had been noticing a trend of declining emotional resilience and wellness among college students for some years prior to the (COVID-19) pandemic,” said Stephanie Brown, associate vice president for student enrichment, health and support. “The pandemic and civil unrest that we all experienced took a toll on our collective wellbeing and has only exacerbated the emotional fragility that we are seeing in college students.”
While Student Life has continually been looking for ways to address the trend in the way it delivers services, she said, more federal and state funds have become available – including pandemic emergency relief funds and other grants – that have allowed for the expansion of emotional support resources available to TWU students.
Kognito At-Risk will allow faculty and staff who work with students to:
- Be better prepared to recognize signs of emotional distress
- Develop the skills and confidence to communicate with students about any indicators they are observing
- Learn how and where to refer those who are not already accessing support on campus or in their home community
The training may be taken as a 40-minute course or in shorter modules completed over time. Participants will take part in simulated conversations with three unique virtual students and learn ways to give support and encouragement, bring up uncomfortable or stigmatized topics, and direct students toward TWU and community support services.
You can try a demonstration of the program by completing an online form.
Faculty and staff interested in Kognito training are encouraged to visit the Student Health Services’ Mental Health page and scroll down to the Faculty and Staff Resources section. Follow the directions to activate your account.
Brown said the university plans to purchase Kognito At-Risk for Students – training aimed at providing peer-to-peer support – to begin in the fall. A list of current mental health resources for students is available online.
“Trainings like Kognito At Risk and the Mental Health First Aid workshops (offered at TWU through the Health and Wellbeing Initiative the past several years) better equip us to be the community of care that is necessary to respond to the growing emotional needs of our students,” Brown said.
Contact Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have general questions about Kognito. Email email@example.com if you have technical issues.