Robeson County teachers seeing success with mental health program

Robeson Co. teachers helping students virtually with mental health issues

LUMBERTON, N.C. (WMBF) - The Kognito online mental health program has changed the way teachers, administrators and students interact at the Public Schools of Robeson County.

“Teachers have been noticing that some students may not be fully participating virtually, so us seeing that, we knew we made a good decision in selecting Kognito in trying to tackle those mental health issues,” said District Counseling Coordinator Megan Collins.

The pandemic limited in-person mental health training and counseling at the Public Schools of Robeson County.

A few months after schools shut down, a district employee came across the Kognito platform. It was implemented district-wide this past May.

The program has scenarios that help to open up a dialogue between students and teachers. It also provides resiliency and intervention training for educators, so they’ll know how to best help their students.

Collins said it gives teachers at all levels the ability to interact with students through virtual simulations involving bullying, trauma and other risk factors.

“Being able to pick up on some of those non-verbal cues that may be transpiring to help them understand something might be going on here, it could be a yellow flag like let’s just sit down and talk, or it could be a red flag and I need to reach out to this parent or caregiver,” said Collins.

The district has seen the most success with the platform in the last few months. District employees used Kognito 4,600 times in November and 3,300 times in December.

Collins said teachers have given plenty of positive feedback

“Teachers have been stating that it’s been helping them have positive dialogue with a student and that they are fully listening to what the student is saying,” said Collins.

The program has been so successful, the district recently renewed the contract for another year.

As students return to the classroom in March, Collins said the district has plans to continue using the program inside the schools.

“Teachers will still be able to use it during their planning period, they could do it outside of normal class hours and it’ll still be available for a whole year, and we’ll also be implementing student simulations as well,” said Collins.

Copyright 2021 WMBF. All rights reserved.