In memory

In light of Tobi Lim Sonstroem’s death, students should know that help is available.

We’re still not sure why exactly Tobi Lim Sonstroem is dead. The Tyler School of Art alumnus was a talented graphic designer. He had made friends at Temple, and was described as having a great sense of humor.

But on Thursday, Feb. 2, Sonstroem took his life on Liacouras Walk. It wasn’t easy for students on the campus’ main walkway to witness, and it wasn’t easy for The Temple News to cover. But the incident reminds us all of the fragile nature of life.

The Temple News would like to offer its condolences to Sonstroem’s family, and to his friends, both at Temple and beyond.

Furthermore, we’d like to remind students of one thing: Help is here.

Whether it’s a visit to the Tuttleman Counseling Services, or a call to a hotline, people are always available, waiting to listen. Too often, stressed college students and young adults are too afraid to seek out help and, as a result, make irrational decisions before getting advice from someone else.

Candles and letters could be seen on Liacouras Walk, where Sonstroem last stood. Friends and strangers have expressed their sincere sympathies – attesting to the fact that people do indeed care.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for college students. In the United States someone commits suicide every 16 minutes.

These figures are real and deserve attention. We as a society too many times treat suicide and depression as private matters, when we should be opening a dialogue and realizing that these unfortunate, tragic events do happen.

We’re sorry, Tobi. May you rest in peace.


  1. I would like to validate what Jen said in response to the Sonstroem suicide. A few years ago, I felt the need to talk to a a professional about an issue. I came into Tuttleman, my answers to a survey were processed through a triage office, and I was given an appointment for a month later. I was anxious and had no idea how to handle the difficult situation without a psychologist’s input, but I had no choice but to brood over the problem, alone, until my appointment the following month. In contrast, I have never had to wait four weeks to speak with an academic advisor. I think Tuttleman should borrow The College of Liberal Art’s appointment approach–students are permitted to call in to arrange an appointment beginning when the building opens, and the call-in service continues until all appointments are filled for the day. That way, students in need of immediate assistance can receive it during the same day the problem arises. The current walk-in system is completely ineffective. I tried it once, and the walk-in appointment was basically “let’s schedule an appointment for another time.” Not to mention, the walk-in window was very limited. If you happen to have class during the time, you are not be permitted to speak with a counselor earlier or later during the day. Temple needs to allocate greater resources to mental health–the students who are suffering unassisted have the potential to be tomorrow’s engineers, artists, teachers and activists, but if they can’t receive the health they need, their talent, drive, and heart may go to waste.

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