The Suicide Of Penn’s Counseling Leader Must Be A Wake-Up Call

One of those posts you wish you didn’t even have the opportunity to write.


I’m beyond saddened by the news in this pic – of all days, as National Suicide Prevention Week kicks off. If this isn’t a wake-up call, I dont know what will be. He was amongst the best of the best: at Cornell the past decade, then over to lead counseling services for all students at Upenn, now gone to suicide.


Even our strongest are impacted. Someone who spent a career saving the lives of others, couldn’t save himself.


Bones break, ligaments tear, & yes – brains can break as well. And you don’t need to have had a diagnosed “mental illness” first, for this to happen.  From this article: “ Eells’ mother, Jeanette Eells-Rich, said he’d been down in recent months, saying the job was harder than he anticipated & had kept him from his wife & three children, who were still living in Ithaca, N.Y.”


Stress & trauma, stress & trauma. And they exist in ALL jobs. They become chronic & put us in emotional pain. If we don’t do exercises to releases & rewire that stress & trauma, we are all susceptible. This from his mother (and how often do we hear this?): “We are confused. He was the most smiling, upbeat person I have met in my life.”


We must wake – this an epidemic. Suicides have been skyrocketing since 2001 to where we are at a 30 yr high. If we don’t prioritize MH education in schools, funding for MH services & leaders encouraging open talk in offices, we will not reverse these awful trends.

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