During Suicide Awareness Week, 2 High-Profile Deaths

And both of them worked in mental health advocacy
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2019 11:23 AM CDT
During Suicide Awareness Week, 2 High-Profile Deaths
   (Getty Images / Chinnapong)

It's National Suicide Prevention Week, and in a tragic twist, two high-profile suicides are making headlines—both of them having a direct link to mental health advocacy.

  • Gregory Eells, who for six months had served as the executive director of counseling and psychological services at the University of Pennsylvania, took his own life by jumping from the 17th floor of a building in Philadelphia Monday morning, CBS News reports. Per Inside Higher Ed, Eells' mother tells the Philadelphia Inquirer her son, who was 52, had complained about being stressed at his new job, and had said its demands kept him from spending time with his family.

  • Jarrid Wilson, a Southern California megachurch pastor known for his mental health advocacy, took his own life Monday, according to a statement from church officials. Wilson, 30, had been open about his own struggles with depression, and in 2016 he co-founded Anthem of Hope, a Christian organization to help those struggling with mental health and substance abuse, Christianity Today reports. He had been an associate pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship Church about a year and a half, NBC News reports.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has started a #BeThe1To campaign urging people to "be the one to" ask someone struggling with suicidal thoughts how they're doing, be there for them, help them stay connected, and more. (More suicide prevention stories.)

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