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Former Head of Counseling at Cornell, UPenn Mourned After Death By Suicide

Local News

By VINNIE BELLARDINI, WXHC NEWS DIRECTOR

The greater Cornell community this weekend mourned the death of former Counseling and Psychological Services Department (CAPS) head Gregory Eells, who helped transform mental health counseling at a university known for its historically high self-harm rates.

Services were held Saturday(September 14) for Eells, who’s credited with revolutionizing Cornell’s counseling services and inspiring generations of students to be comfortable asking for help when many were not doing so.

He struggled with depression, himself, which he documented extensively and even gave several TED-style talks on mental health in the upstate New York area.

In 2012, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors for his work on university healthcare systems.

Eells worked as director or mental health services at Cornell for 25 years, before leaving in April to continue helping students in a similar position at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Sadly, his own battle with depression would overcome him less than six months later.

At the age of 52, Eells took his own life last Monday (September 9) in Philadelphia, after undoubtedly saving countless others over the years.

His services were held in Ithaca on Saturday.

Eells is survived by his wife and children.


September is National Suicide Prevention Month and locally we have a ton of amazing people available to help those who may be depressed or otherwise struggling

Cortland County’s confidential Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service can be reached 24/7 at 272-1616.

You can also call Patty Schaap, Point of Access Coordinator at the Mental Health Department, at 758-6100, who can direct you to a variety of services.

Liberty Resources Mobile Crisis Unit can be reached after hours at 756-3771.

An Ithaca-based crisis line is available at 607-272-1616.

Cornell Students may consult with counselors from Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) by calling 607-255-5155. Employees may call the Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) at 607-255-2673.

Whatever the struggle may be, it does not have to be endured alone.

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