Minnesota offers suicide prevention trainings for teachers and staff

A partnership between the Minnesota Department of Health and Department of Education aim to offer teachers and school staff suicide prevention training. 

The initiative is one of the efforts being highlighted during Suicide Prevention Month. The Kognito trainings are virtual. Sessions include real-life conversations about mental health, giving participants feedback on how they can respond and give support. 

"We want teachers to feel confident and comfortable in supporting their students' well-being," said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Brooke Cunningham. "We can all play a role in preventing suicide in Minnesota, and we want to remind all Minnesotans that hope is possible, and help is available."

The trainings are available to all school staff for free through June 2024 at Suicide Prevention Trainings. This may be the last chance for schools to take advantage of the trainings as Kognito plans on discontinuing them. 

Minnesota is also celebrating the first year of 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. The statewide 988 system launched on July 16, 2022. Since last summer, 988 has received more than 44,800 calls, 10,800 chats and 12,000 texts from Minnesotans. 

Both the 988 Lifeline and the Kognito trainings are strategies of the Minnesota Suicide Prevention State Plan released in February. 

According to state data, there were 835 suicide deaths in Minnesota, the highest ever recorded in Minnesota. Of those deaths, 51 were among those aged 10-19.