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Training Helps UCF Faculty and Staff Better Serve the Mental Health Needs of Students

Mental Health Stock Image April 2020

From Dr. Michael D. Johnson, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

The Florida Board of Governors has asked all state universities to help faculty and staff better understand how to identify a student who may be experiencing psychological distress and how to refer them for help through our Student of Concern process.

I am writing to ask you to take the web-based training described below. Because of the pandemic, it is more apparent than ever that we need to work together to support our students and their well-being. It is evident that our challenging circumstances take an emotional toll on them. This training is intended to help.

Please make every effort to complete this training by May 7. The Board of Governors expects all faculty and staff to do so.

The web-based training, called “Kognito At Risk,” is an avatar-based simulation module. It helps participants identify students who may be experiencing distress and then refer them for help. By experiencing these situations in a virtual environment, faculty and staff can test strategies and receive personalized feedback.

While the module features faculty and staff in one-on-one conversations with students, we do not expect that everyone will engage with students in this way. Instead, the goal is to give us all a better understanding of how to help identify students who need additional support and direct them for help.

To sign up for the Kognito training, visit the employee self-service portal on myUCF. The course content is accessed through Webcourses. The training should take about an hour.

I am very grateful for all that you have done for our students in this difficult time. This step is intended to help us help them.