Applying for a Project AWARE Grant?

SAMHSA’s Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education) State Education Agency Grants (FOA SM-20-016) are open for applications. Read on for how Kognito can fit into mental health literacy and training requirements of the grant. Kognito is proud to have provided program support to previous Project AWARE grantees.

  • Award amount: Up to $1.8 million per year over 5 years, to an estimated 17 grantees.
  • Eligibility: State Education Agencies (SEA) or Education Agencies/Authorities serving children and youth residing in federally recognized American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribes, tribal organizations, and consortia of tribes or tribal organizations are eligible to apply. Please read the full 2020 Project AWARE funding announcement and other resources to determine your eligibility. Institutions with current Project AWARE grant funding are not eligible to apply.
  • Deadline: The deadline to submit your application on is April 20, 2020. However, if you are interested in applying, SAMHSA recommends starting the registration process immediately. Registering with NIH’s eRA Commons can take up to six weeks. We also recommend building in adequate review time (at least 2-4 weeks) for your grants office to review your proposal.

How Kognito Can Satisfy Project AWARE Requirements

Kognito simulations for PK-12 educators satisfy the following Project AWARE requirement:

Develop and implement a workforce development training plan to increase the mental health awareness and literacy of school staff, administrators, parents, and others who interact with school-aged youth to recognize the signs and symptoms and mental illness and link them to appropriate services.

Kognito has worked with thousands of schools and districts to provide a cost-effective, research-proven solution that can rapidly train all school personnel – administrators, teachers, school staff – as well as students on skills for suicide prevention and mental health.

Kognito’s PK-12 simulation suite addresses the needs of school personnel from pre-K to grade 12. These interactive, evidence-based simulations address a variety of topics that support mental health, school climate, and school safety in order to promote help-seeking behavior and reduce stigma. These topics include:

Project Aware Five Year Plan
Download our 5-year sample learning path

These simulations feature virtual role-play conversations in which educators and school staff build awareness, knowledge, and skills about these topics and are prepared to lead real-life conversations with students that build resilience, strengthen relationships and connect them with support. As a result, school staff improve the early identification and referral to treatment of at-risk students so they can successfully complete their studies.

Don’t miss our sample five year learning path as an example of how districts can plan professional development activities with Kognito over five years.

About Kognito’s Simulations

Kognito PK-12 simulations are evidence-based with a growing body of peer-reviewed research to support their effectiveness. These interactive, evidence-based simulations address suicide prevention, mental health, and substance use in order to promote help-seeking behavior and reduce stigma.

In these role-play conversations, educators and students build awareness, knowledge, and skills about these topics and are prepared to lead real-life conversations with students that build resilience, strengthen relationships and connect them with support. As a result, educators are empowered to build relationships and improve the identification and treatment of at-risk students.

Additionally, Kognito’s At-Risk simulations are highlighted as a mental health literacy resource by SAMHSA’s Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network -see below.

[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”MHTTC Educator Mental Health Literacy Resource_Final”]


Does Kognito assist with data collection and performance measurement?

Yes. Grant recipients are required to provide SAMHSA with quarterly reports on their activity. The Kognito system generates daily usage and completion reports. The Kognito team will compile a quarterly report for your submission, saving you time and resources.

Does Kognito assist with project performance assessment?

Yes. Kognito’s Client Success Team works with clients during implementation to identify training goals and metrics. Clients receive an assigned client success manager who provides regular updates via email, webinar, and phone. Client success managers share tips and best practices for promoting the courses, receive regular emails sharing usage information, and are available to consult on goal setting and outreach efforts.

Do your programs help build knowledge about school- and community-specific resources?

Yes. Users of Kognito programs learn about national resources, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, as well as school-specific and community resources. Clients provide their preferred behavioral health resources to Kognito, which are uploaded into each simulation. They can be easily accessed and printed by school staff.

Do your programs address vulnerable population groups, by race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation?

Yes. Conversations within Kognito simulations include scenarios that incorporate diverse themes and students. Kognito’s simulation Step In, Speak Up! coverts LGBTQ competency. Research confirms that Kognito simulations are equally effective for all racial and ethnic subgroups. In addition, Kognito’s products are Section 508-compliant to accommodate students with disabilities, through the use of keyboard shortcuts, audio narration, text captions, and a version compatible with screen reader software.

Are there assessment tools that can help me evaluate the effectiveness of the program?

Yes. Pre-, post- and 60-day follow-up surveys are integrated into each simulation and the questions included in each survey can be customized to meet the needs of the client evaluation team. The survey infrastructure enables Kognito clients to perform repeated measures design analysis to assess the longitudinal impact of the simulations as well as user attitudes about the simulations.

Kognito’s standard survey instruments are consistent with SAMHSA’s data gathering requirements.

Is there any evidence as to the effectiveness of these programs?

Yes. Several longitudinal studies have demonstrated efficacy in increasing conversation gatekeeper skills, knowledge about mental health, and changing gatekeeper behaviors. These are available on our website and we cite specific peer-reviewed articles at the bottom of this page.

What does an institutional license include?

  • Hosting. Kognito hosts the simulations and provides access via our learning management system. Alternatively, Kognito can deploy the simulation via an SSO implementation and the client’s learning management system.
  • User account management. Users open an account to access simulations by providing an email address and choosing a password. As a result, users can complete the simulation(s) in multiple sittings.
  • Unlimited access. Once users create an account, they have unlimited access during the contract term.
  • Completion reminders. To increase completion rates, Kognito emails reminders to users who registered but have not completed the simulation within 48 hours.
  • Accessibility. All simulations are compliant with Section 508 and Section 504 via the use of text captions, keyboard shortcuts, narration, and a screen-reader version.
  • Certificate of completion. Users can download and print a personalized certificate of completion at the end of each simulation.
  • User demographic data. When first accessing a simulation, users answer basic demographic questions (e.g., gender, role). Collected data is provided to the client as part of usage reports which also include information on each user’s learning activities and completion status.
  • Feedback via pre, post, and two-month follow-up surveys. The goal of the online surveys is to analyze changes in skills, attitude, and behavior of users and gauge satisfaction with the simulation. Collected data is provided to the client.
  • In-sim custom school-specific resources. Each simulation includes a link to a webpage where the school can list information about on- and off-campus support services. The goal of the webpage is to provide users with easy access to this information from within the simulation.
  • Standard reports. Clients have 24/7 access to an admin portal where they can download usage reports (Excel) and request a copy of the aggregate data collected in each feedback survey (.pdf, .xlsx, .csv). In addition, clients receive automated monthly emails with summary usage data.
  • Technical onboarding session. The engagement with Kognito begins with a one-hour technical onboarding in which a Kognito client success manager gives an overview to the client on using the Kognito system, how to access usage reports, how users will log in, and other important information.

What is involved in rolling out these programs? Will Kognito help us with this process?

Kognito takes an active role in assisting with rollout, promotion, and assessment of our simulations. Our Client Success team works closely with our clients, providing them with outreach materials and a tailored strategy to achieve their dissemination targets. This approach significantly reduces the time commitment and resources that a client would usually need to allocate to make these programs successful. The simulations are hosted by Kognito so this is a turnkey solution that doesn’t require involvement of your IT department.

Can I customize the content of the simulation for my own needs?

Yes. Several aspects of the simulation are easily customizable including:

  • Information on school and community services
  • Evaluation surveys, including adding district-specific questions and demographic information
  • Marketing materials to assist in rollout, including flyers, email templates, and slide decks

How quickly can we be set up with Kognito? Do we need to get our IT team to work with you on the implementation?

No IT team required. Kognito simulations can be made available districtwide in as little as two weeks, fulfilling the Project AWARE requirement to begin implementation by month four. Kognito provides a fully hosted service on our secure learning management system. We can also work with IT staff to integrate our solutions into your district LMS.

Do users need a special computer or high-speed internet access to view these programs?

No. The technology requirements to support use of Kognito programs are rudimentary by current standards. The program supports use by Windows platforms going back to Microsoft Vista – Windows 10 and Mac platforms going back to OSX 10.9.

Are the simulations Section 508 compliant?

Yes. These simulations are compatible with Section 508 through the use of keyboard shortcuts, audio narration, text captions, and a version compatible with screen reader software.

Are these simulations available on mobile devices?

Yes. Simulations are accessible on Apple and Android mobile devices via internet browsers.

Pricing and Additional Information

How do I get pricing information?

Our PK-12 specialists are available to help you with any questions. Contact our team here and we will reach out to you with information.

How can I get a letter of commitment?

Contact us here and we can provide you with one.

Are there additional costs associated with rolling out Kognito simulations?

Kognito can provide a comprehensive budget proposal including licensing and a range of optional services designed to streamline your program implementation.

How do I access a demo of these programs for review? How do I get access to a full version of the programs for review?

Brief demos for all current programs are available here. To request a full version “evaluator” link, contact us here and we will provide you with one.

More Information, Research, and Links

Product Overviews


Get in Touch with Us

Our Project AWARE grant and PK-12 specialists are available to help you with any questions and grant development. Contact our team here and we will reach out to you with information. We also offer complimentary interactive demos here.

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