US YouTuber Desmond “Etika” Amofah was found dead on 25 June, six days after being reported missing.
The YouTuber’s belongings were found on Manhattan Bridge on 24 June. A day later, the NYPD declared him deceased after his body was discovered in the water.
Viewers had expressed concerns about Etika’s mental health for months beforehand. He uploaded an eight-minute video to YouTube in which he talked about the negative effect social media had on his mental health and referenced suicide.
“It can fuck you up,” he said in the video. “It can give you an image of what you want your life to be and it can get blown completely out of proportion, dog. Unfortunately, it consumed me.”
The video has since been deleted from his channel.
Etika was known for his Twitch streams and gaming videos on YouTube. Several UK YouTube creators have offered their condolences following Etika’s passing, and are encouraging people who struggle with their mental health to ask for support.
Reading up on what’s happened to Etika… It’s such a hard and painful thing to accept but very real, nonetheless. The position influencers are thrown into can be a ruthless, cruel place and feel very lonely. We need to remember this. Rest in peace, Desmond Amofah
— Joe Weller (@joe_weller_) June 26, 2019
Hard to grasp that he's actually gone, left us way too soon.
You will continue to live on in our hearts.
Rest in peace @Etika
— ƿ૯ωძɿ૯ƿɿ૯ (@pewdiepie) June 25, 2019
RIP Etika. Really sad news to hear. Mental health is no joke and if you're going through something please reach out to people that can help. There will always be someone who will listen. pic.twitter.com/EPki81fyxS
— Jacksepticeye (@Jack_Septic_Eye) June 25, 2019
RIP Etika. We didn't know each other but I just wanted to say rest in peace. It gets said a lot on social media but I'm gonna say it again. Reach out to someone, anyone, to talk through things. There are always people that care about you ❤️
— Lux (@Callux) June 25, 2019
Mental health is so incredibly important. Lost for words. https://t.co/ZT65xhspVF
— ImAllexx (@ImAllexx) June 25, 2019
RIP @Etika :(
— KSI (@KSIOlajidebt) June 25, 2019
The news of Etika’s death has opened a broader conversation about the pressures that YouTubers face, and the strain that managing their public persona and busy upload schedule can place on their mental health.
US YouTuber Philip DeFranco said in a video about Etika: “There’s a belief that because somebody has a large audience that in some way they’ll always be ok. […] But that’s just a spotlight. A spotlight doesn’t hug back.”
If you’ve been affected by any of the issues in this article, you can speak to a Childline on 0800 111 (for under 19s) or talk to Samaritans on 116 123.