Suicide Awareness - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Suicide Awareness

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A Towner-area man recently committed suicide - leaving some people to wonder what can be done to prevent such needless loss of life.

Psychologist Dr. Bob Edwards held a special post-suicide meeting in Towner last night to offer help for people dealing with his death.

Edwards also offered his suicide prevention seminar, hoping to head-off any further deaths.

Meanwhile, Minot State University's Center for Persons With Disabilities is promoting a program to help middle school teachers and staff to prevent suicide among school children.

Melinda Bolton reports.

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "Last fall, State Legislators made suicide prevention education compulsory.

Emily Rodacker says a computer program can meet that requirement."

(Emily Rodacker, Project Coordinator) "The North Dakota Department of Health Division of Injury Prevention, their suicide program has made this online training for middle school educators available, free of charge."

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "Rodacker says that Kognito is a virtual classroom where trainees will face realistic situations."

(Emily Rodacker, Project Coordinator) "It's a role play where the educator who's going through the training has an avatar that works with three different student avatars where they're able to view background information about the student, and each student has a different personality, a different character and different issues going on."

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "Jim Vitko has completed the Kognito Program and he feels it is an effective tool those working with at-risk kids."

(Jim Vitko, In School Social Worker) "I've sent that out to paras who are working with, you want to say some of the at risk students in our schools.

And so they can go online and do on their own time or while they're in the school setting to complete that. It's a fairly quick and effective tool to make paras aware of what's happening or what can happen with students"

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "Vitko says that making connections with people who can relate might relieve some pain."

(Jim Vitko, In School Social Worker) "When you seek out help and start finding out that there's a lot of other people that are experiencing similar situations, that's probably one of the things that alleviates some of the fears or concerns or I guess difficulties the student's having -or the person."

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "The Kognito - At Risk program is available only through September of this year. In Minot, Melinda Bolton, KX News."

Faculty who work with middle school children can contact Rodacker at the NDCPD with any inquiries.

Or anyone can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline anytime at 1.800.273.TALK.

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