City Offers Access to Online Mental Health Training Resource for Adults and Youth

Page updated on Jan 29, 2021 at 1:03 PM

City Offers Access to Online Mental Health Training Resource for Adults and Youth


Mental Health Resources Web BoxJanuary 29, 2021--The City of Alexandria is offering access to an online training resource for adults and youth that uses simulation and role-play conversations to help individuals gain skills in recognizing students in mental distress and initiate conversations about mental health. The resource is helpful for local residents and organizations looking to understand suicide prevention and assist youth affected by mental illness.

Nationally, nearly one in five youth will experience a mental health challenge such as depression or anxiety at some point during their life, and suicide remains one of the top three leading causes of death for youth.

The licenses will give Alexandria residents and organizations access to two sets of resources available through Kognito, a company that develops evidence-based health simulations. Through gaming technology, users engage in virtual role-play conversations, allowing them to try different approaches, get personalized feedback and gain the skills to lead similar conversations in real life:

  • Friend2Friend Training gives youth the opportunity to practice supporting their peers through an interactive experience that allows them to have simulated, challenging conversations with a friend who may be suffering from psychological distress.

  • At Risk Training allows adults to participate in grade specific training to learn about mental health and suicide prevention through simulated conversations with elementary, middle school and high school aged youth, which helps them to recognize when a student is in distress, initiate a conversation and connect parents and students to support services.

A limited number of licenses are available. Individuals and organizations located in the City of Alexandria who are interested in securing a license should email Individuals outside of the City of Alexandria can email for a referral to Kognito resources in their jurisdiction.

In addition to Kognito licenses, City of Alexandria residents can also obtain free firearm locks and medicine lock boxes through SPAN’s Lock & Talk. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, firearms accounted for 50 percent of all suicide deaths in 2018; 19 percent of people who complete suicide used poison or medication. 

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call PRS CrisisLink at 703.527.4077 or text CONNECT to 85511.

This article is an edited version of a City news release. View the original.