University of Pennsylvania’s head of counseling, psychology commits suicide
Patriot-News - 9/10/2019
The head of the University of Pennsylvania’s department that counsels students facing mental-health issues died after jumping from the 17th floor of a Philadelphia building Monday.
The death of Gregory Eells, 52, was determined to be a suicide, the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting.
According to reports, the incident occurred around 6:40 a.m. on the 100 block of South Broad Street. He had just started his job as executive director of Counseling and Psychology Services six months ago after working for more than a decade as an expert on resilience at Cornell University, reports indicate.
His mother, Jeanette Eells-Rich, told the Inquirer he had been down in recent months as his job was more difficult than he had anticipated, and it kept him away from his wife and three children, who were still in Ithaca, New York.
While at Cornell, he was a “transformational leader on student mental health,” vice president of student and campus life Ryan Lombardi told The Cornell Daily Sun.
The University of Pennsylvania issued this statement to students Monday:
“Dear Penn students,
“With sadness, we write to share the news of the sudden death of Dr. Gregory Eells, Executive Director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Dr. Eells died this morning in Philadelphia.
“Dr. Eells was new to Penn, having started at CAPS in late March. He previously led the counseling center at Cornell for more than a decade.
“We extend our condolences to Dr. Eells’ family.
“We assure you, our beloved Penn student community, that you continue to have 24/7 access to CAPS clinicians (215-898-7021) and the Penn HELP Line (215-898-HELP).”
The university’s Penn Today publication described him as affable and enthusiastic and well-prepared for the job when he came to the school earlier this year.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.
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