Two months after the implementation of these reforms, CAPS reported a decrease from 37 days to 15 days in students’ average wait time of scheduling appointments. It has also seen increases in both the number of unique clients and the number of student visitors it has had in 2019 by 23% and 34%, respectively, compared to the numbers from 2018.
Warning: The following content contains sensitive material about mental health, depression and suicide. Two days before last year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, I found out one of my best friends from middle school died by suicide. He was like me in every sense. We did middle school debate together and agreed that we peaked then, grew up in a predominantly Asian community filled with academic competition and parental stressors, attended an Ivy League institution (he went to Columbia) and started out as pre-meds (he later switched to finance while somehow I still cling to that track). After I found out about his death, I cried for two hours and then channeled all of my energy into repressing the news to execute the best MHAW I could muster.
When I moved to Ithaca as a freshman in fall 2010, Cornell’s response to multiple deaths by suicide the semester before was both swift and controversial, yet undeniable: fences on the bridges. Today? It’s deafening silence. It’s now been two weeks since Gregory Eells, the former Director of Cornell’s Counseling and Psychological Services, died by suicide. Until his departure to the University of Pennsylvania just months ago, Eells spent the past 15 years working intimately with students here in both his capacity as a health care provider to our community and alongside us in our campus governance and advocacy efforts. The Sun’s reporting of this tragedy misses the mark.
Gregory Eells, the former head of Cornell’s Counseling and Psychological Services Department, died on Monday morning in Philadelphia, according to an email to faculty and staff by Vice President of Student and Campus Life Ryan Lombardi.
Hua and Kieley discussed their personal experiences with mental health, experiences interacting with Cornell’s current mental health system and their time working with the Task Force over the past year.
Over the past year, many people have voiced concerns about student mental health, including criticisms of the university’s clinical services and efforts to prevent suicide. Wait times for counseling services are among the challenges we at Cornell Health have been working to address. With university support we have added new therapist positions which has shortened wait times and also increased the diversity of our staff. Access to mental health care is critical, because treatment works and many students are in need of it. It’s also important to reach students who may be reluctant to walk through our doors, so our Let’s Talk program places counselors in locations around campus for walk-in consultations.