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ISU ‘Kognito’ program spreads mental health awareness virtually

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Normal (WEEK) - In the COVID-19 era mental health awareness has become even more valuable, especially on colleges and universities.

Illinois State University has once again launched their 'Kognito' avatar based simulation program. It allows users to have conversations with virtual humans and act out real-life crisis scenarios.

ISU staff psychologist Dr. Glorivette Albino said these simulated conversations give real students the tools needed to help other students that could be at risk for self harm, suicide, and other mental health issues.

Albino said it shows both students and staff how to approach tough topics and how to refer others to professional services.

"Learn what are the signs of stress, and how to recognize that. How to engage so that people are able to communicate their concern and show that they care, and how to help." said Dr. Albino

Albino said the online program allows them to reach students even though they are not able to meet in person as they would a typical year.

Kaitlin Pearson

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