As hard as this is to wrap our heads around, suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in Minnesota and the leading cause of death among kids and young adults. Some action being taken is a new suicide prevention training program called "Kognito". It is being offered to all Minnesota schools and is coming to Duluth Public Schools.  Kognito is offering this online training to all Minnesota schools for FREE.

Duluth Public Schools are one of the first in the state to try the training under this new program.  Jennifer Spiegler, the Kognito senior vice president of strategic partnerships said to WDIO "It's really action oriented rather than information oriented. We want the learner in this case, a school staff member, to leave this hour long training with the skills and self confidence to help a student and make that really an effective and appropriate level of help."

For so many teachers and school staff it can be very hard to read the signs if a student  may need help. So many kids keep things to themselves and won't even tell their close friends let alone a staff member of the school if something is bothering them. This kind of training is crucial so that staff at schools are better equipped to help a child who is struggling.  As far as Northern Minnesota Counties go St. Louis County has the highest youth suicide rate. From 2014 to 2018 there were 26 deaths by suicide of people between 5 to 24 years old in St. Louis County.

How the training program works is that a staff member from the school meets virtually with a student who is struggling with a certain issue. The staff member then speaks with the student while a virtual coach guides them and gives them feedback. This training program is available for elementary to high school students.

If you or someone you know needs help please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also text the Crisis Text Line at Text MN to 741741.

To access local mental health resources, click here.

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