Student death ruled a suicide

Richard Dalcourt, a freshman mechanical engineering major, died last Tuesday after falling from a fifth-floor lounge window in 1940 Residence Hall. Dalcourt was rushed to Hahnemann Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 11:05 a.m.

The medical examiner’s office later ruled his death a suicide.

Dalcourt was born in Princeton, New Jersey, and grew up in Plainsboro, New Jersey, before coming to the university. He graduated from West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North earlier this year, according to his obituary.

“Rick was a quiet, kind and caring person, often going out of his way to help others. He had a witty sense of humor and was a lover of video games, action movies and his cat, Heart,” the obituary reads.

Brandon Lausch, a university spokesperson, did not have any new information from the university, but described Tuttleman Counseling Services in an email to The Temple News.

“Temple University cares deeply about students’ health and well-being,” Lausch wrote in an email. “Tuttleman Counseling Services offers a wide range of services in an atmosphere where students can feel safe and comfortable seeking help. Resources include individual and group counseling, psychiatric services, referrals and more. We encourage students to use these and other on-campus services at any time.”

Suicide Warning Signs

Talk

If a person talks about:

  • Being a burden to others
  • Feeling trapped
  • Experiencing unbearable pain
  • Having no reason to live
  • Killing themselves

Behavior

Specific things to look out for include:

  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means
  • Acting recklessly
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Isolating from family and friends
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Aggression

Mood

People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods:

  • Depression
  • Loss of interest
  • Rage
  • Irritability
  • Humiliation
  • Anxiety
Suicide Risk Factors

Mental Health Factors/Mental Health Conditions:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Borderline or antisocial personality disorder
  • Conduct disorder
  • Psychotic disorders, or psychotic symptoms in the context of any disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • Serious or chronic health condition and/or pain

Environmental Factors

  • Stressful life events which may include a death, divorce, or job loss
  • Prolonged stress factors which may include harassment, bullying, relationship problems, and unemployment
  • Access to lethal means including firearms and drugs
  • Exposure to another person’s suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of suicide

Historical Factors

  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Family history of suicide attempts
Source: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

A representative from Tuttleman could not be reached for comment. Instead, Lausch directed The Temple News to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website.

President Richard Englert released a statement about Dalcourt’s death last Tuesday. He did not release another statement after Dalcourt’s death was ruled a suicide.

Sarah Madaus, Temple Student Government director of communication, wrote in a statement to The Temple News, “TSG is in contact with the Community Council in 1940 Residence Hall about planning a vigil in memory of Richard Dalcourt.”

Kevin Williams, director of University Housing and Residential Life, declined to comment.

In his obituary, Dalcourt’s parents urged others to learn about the warning signs of depression and requested people donate to the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, which awards research grants to study mental illness.

The last time The Temple News reported on an on-campus death was in February 2012 when Tobi Lim Sonstroem, a 2009 graphic design alumnus, committed suicide on Liacouras Walk.

Kelly Brennan
can be reached at kelly.brennan@temple.edu Or you can follow Kelly on Twitter @_kellybrennan Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews

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