YouTuber Desmond Amofah, known as Etika, has been found dead in his home city of New York at the age of 29.
The tragic news was announced in a tweet by the New York Police Department on 25 June. It simply said: “We regret to inform that Desmond Amofah aka Etika has been found deceased.” Etika had been missing since 19 June; on 20 June, the NYPD had put out a tweet seeking information on his whereabouts.
Etika was best known on YouTube and other social media services for streaming games, especially ones made by Nintendo. However, as Kotaku reported, he had been apparently struggling with mental issues for some time, resulting in a number of troubling incidents. On 29 April, he was detained by police after threatening to harm himself as 19,000 followers watched live on Instagram. Previously, also in April, he had posted on Twitter that he was going to shoot himself.
On 24 June, some of Etika’s belongings were found on Manhattan Bridge, and on 25 June, the NYPD confirmed that a body recovered from New York’s East River was his. Several tributes to Etika have been posted on social media, including a stream of a memorial to him on Manhattan Bridge.
The risk of burnout imposed by the pressure on the most-followed YouTubers to provide constant daily content has been highlighted by the press recently – including in this article in the Observer, which argued that the constant demands on YouTubers can lead to mental issues. In the UK, the highest-profile charity with the best track record of dealing with mental issues is The Samaritans.