LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Amid a growing nationwide concern over the effects of the pandemic on student mental health, GoGuardian, a leading education technology company helping K-12 schools maximize the learning potential of every student, today announced that its award-winning student safety solution, GoGuardian Beacon, will be available at no cost for schools and districts to use through the remainder of the school year. Beacon helps educators identify students who are at risk of suicide or self-harm, alert those who can help, and quickly activate the school’s custom response plan. With this offer, K-12 schools can have access to supportive tools to help protect students in this growing time of need, regardless of funding and budgetary constraints.
“We have a difficult road ahead to support students with the mental health resources they deserve, so GoGuardian’s decision to make Beacon available for free is a welcome step that can make a truly positive impact on students’ lives.”
Educators and public health officials are growing increasingly alarmed by the pandemic’s impact on student mental health. A recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found suicidal ideation was 1.60 and 1.45 times higher in March and July 2020 compared to the same period one year earlier; suicide attempts were 2.34 and 1.77 times higher during the same period. Even as COVID-19 infection rates decline and schools move to reopen, students face extraordinary challenges adjusting yet again to hybrid learning schedules, altered school environments, and new classroom health requirements.
Depending on their needs, schools can receive either Beacon Core, which offers automated alerts for potential self-harm and suicide categories, or Beacon 24/7, which adds round-the-clock human escalation from GoGuardian’s Safety Support team for Active Planning suicide alerts. Schools and districts can learn more and sign up throughout the month of April at https://go.goguardian.com/beacon-offer.
“As we look to the challenging transitional months ahead, we’re committed to partnering with educators to help keep students safe,” said Ellen Yan, general manager, GoGuardian Beacon. “Schools often serve as the de facto first line of defense for students struggling with their mental health, and we hope that making Beacon available at no cost will support safer and more equitable learning environments where students can thrive.”
Beacon was designed in collaboration with K-12 school districts and leading mental health experts, including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the American Association of Suicidology (AAS). The software uses artificial intelligence to analyze the content students are interacting with, creating, and consuming across the web, notifying and empowering the right people at their schools to engage their suicide prevention protocol and get students help as quickly as possible. GoGuardian further expanded Beacon’s capabilities in February, adding the ability to intelligently protect students from bullying, threats, and violence that can make them feel unsafe and impact their ability to learn.
“We tend to think of the physical toll the pandemic has had on society, but we must also consider the mental health toll caused by the stress and anxiety of the past year, especially for students whose lives have been so disrupted,” said Becky Stoll, Vice President, Crisis & Disaster Management, at Centerstone, a not-for-profit health system providing mental health and substance use disorder treatments. “We have a difficult road ahead to support students with the mental health resources they deserve, so GoGuardian’s decision to make Beacon available for free is a welcome step that can make a truly positive impact on students’ lives.”
For more information about the GoGuardian Beacon offer, please visit https://go.goguardian.com/beacon-offer.
Editor’s Note: GoGuardian follows the reporting best practices recommended by reportingonsuicide.org. If you, your readers/viewers, or anyone you know expresses suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
GoGuardian believes that education is the highest point of leverage for improving society and that digital learning can meaningfully advance educational outcomes for every student, school, and district. GoGuardian helps thousands of K-12 schools and districts maximize the learning potential of every student by providing solutions that enable more productive and safer digital learning. Its products help educators identify learning patterns, protect students from harmful and distracting content, and support mental health. Learn more at goguardian.com.