March 15, 2010

University Continues Mental Health Support Efforts

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Amid a barrage of national media attention over the recent string of student deaths, the University continued to pursue an aggressive mental health awareness campaign Monday on campus.

Meanwhile, efforts to recover the body of Matthew Zika ’11 from Fall Creek Gorge were halted yet again Monday due to nightfall, according to the Ithaca Police Department.

The University said Monday night that security personnel will remain posted on the bridges for an average of 18 hours per day until the end of the week when students leave campus for Spring Break. The Cornell University Police Department is coordinating those efforts.

Officials from Gannett Health Services also participated in a live webcast that was recorded and e-mailed to the Cornell community on Monday and posted on the University’s new website,

The video, which features Director for Mental Health Initiatives at Gannett Tim Marchell and the Director for Counseling and Psychological Services Greg Eells, repeated the University’s general message over the past few days that students keep their academics and individual relationships in proper perspective in relation to their life as a whole.

“Yes grades are important and yet the reality is that its human to not be at the top and indeed its human to fail. That’s a normal part of life experience,” Marchell said.

The video also touched on ways to cope with the psychological forces that may drive individuals towards depression.

“A lot of times as human beings we have a tendency to push [our emotions] aside or try to control it,” Eells stated. “Part of therapy is to acknowledge that internal experience and help people move in a valuable direction … [towards] managing that pain and responding in a positive way.”

Marchell and Eells’ video is the fourth public statement that administrators have made to the Cornell community since Friday.

Original Author: Sun Staff