On the evening of Feb. 18, Matias Sosa-Wheelock, a member of the Macalester class of 2020, died by suicide. In the aftermath of Matias’ death, and after subsequent reflection upon related past events at Macalester, The Mac Weekly began a months-long investigation into the state of mental health and mental healthcare on our campus, on college campuses across the country and in the country as a whole. We spoke to students, faculty, staff members, administrators and legislators from varying experiences and backgrounds, compiling data, stories and analysis. The result is this series of stories, which we hope will shed light on the mental health challenges facing Macalester students, contributing in a small way to building a healthier, more supportive and more open school. Readers should also know that this issue contains information about the resources available to students, faculty, staff and the broader Macalester community. If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health issues, suicidal thoughts or coming to terms with grief, know this: you are not alone, and you are loved.


Matias Sosa-Wheelock’s death affected all members of the campus community differently, depending on individual experiences that night, in the days following or with mental health and mental healthcare at other points in their lives. This special report includes in-depth reporting on the response to Sosa-Wheelock’s death, as well as the state of mental health and healthcare on campus more broadly. While we have refrained from including graphic details, it may nonetheless be difficult to read. Before beginning, please be aware.

The Mac Weekly compiled a collection of resources based off of information provided by the Macalester College Laurie Hamre Center for Health & Wellness and other local sources.

Campus struggles in aftermath of student suicide

On Sunday, Feb. 18 at 11:18 p.m., Macalester President Brian Rosenberg sent an email to students, faculty and staff announcing that Matias “Tea” Sosa-Wheelock, a sophomore, had died from suicide. For most of the college community, that message was the first they knew of Sosa-Wheelock’s passing. However, a small number of friends, residents of Wallace Hall and bystanders had been aware of the situation for hours. They’re still dealing with it today.

Class changes course after death

While mental health concerns were discussed in several classes after Matias Sosa-Wheelock’s death two months ago, members of the anthropology course “Anthropology of Death and Dying” have taken their class response a step further.

Disability Services leaves students at crossroads

In contrast to the loud decor of the Kagin Commons, sits the Disability Services office. You’d be forgiven for not knowing that it’s there. Despite its geographic isolation, Disability Services has been busy. As of Jan. 2018, 247 students were receiving accommodations, 157 of them for psychological needs.