November 30, 2014

EDITORIAL: Asking the Community to Reach Out

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Cornell’s campus was struck with tragedy over the Thanksgiving Break this weekend. Shannon Jones ’15, a 23-year-old senior in the College of Engineering, died on Thursday at her home in Cayuga Heights. Just days later on Sunday morning, a body was found at the bottom of the Fall Creek Gorge. This is the first apparent suicide from a bridge on or near campus since a string of three suicides shocked Cornell in 2010, which sparked a push for a bigger commitment to mental health resources on campus. In light of this news, we at The Sun hope that members of the community who feel unsafe or in need of help do not hesitate to reach out for that assistance.

As Cornellians, there are a number of mental health resources available to students, faculty and staff. Gannett Health Services offers 24/7 phone consultations, as well as its Counseling and Psychological Services. The Empathy, Assistance and Referral Service in Willard Straight Hall, as well as the Faculty Staff Assistance Program are also available resources for students, faculty and staff to take advantage of. For individuals concerned about their relationships or a friend or family member, The Advocacy Center also has a 24/7 hotline for issues regarding domestic violence. In addition, a community support meeting will be held on Monday at 4:30 p.m. in the Upson Hall lounge for those affected by the death of Shannon Jones.

As President David Skorton said in a statement Friday, “With our campus closed and many of us away from Ithaca as we learn of this sad news, I encourage you to reach out to others for support and please know that you can access our counseling resources at a distance.” We at The Sun echo the words of President Skorton and once again stress the importance of seeking help. We encourage students, faculty and staff to be aware of the resources available to Cornellians.

During times of great stress, anxiety or sadness, it is not uncommon to feel afraid or unsure of oneself. No matter what happens or what challenges you may face, do not be afraid to ask for help.