mental illness claims life of youtube star etika
By Erin White
June 27, 2019
TW: suicide, mental illness
The video game vlogger community is mourning the tragic death of popular YouTuber and Twitch stream star Desmond “Etika” Amofah, 29, whose body was discovered in New York’s East River on Monday. His death has since been ruled as suicide.
As an online personality, Etika struggled publicly with his deteriorating mental health since back in October 2018 when he deleted all the content from his YouTube channel and posted suicidal messages on Reddit. Soon after, he was banned from Twitch for using homophobic slurs, a violation of the platform’s guidelines. His personal social media accounts also went inactive. Around that time, an ex-girlfriend, Christine Allice, admitted that Etika had checked into a psychiatric hospital. In mid-April he was hospitalized again after threatening to kill himself. Two weeks later, he was arrested in Brooklyn after live-streaming suicidal threats. On Twitter, he posted about weapons and uploaded edited photos of him pointing a gun at the camera. He was picked up again by emergency services who took him to a nearby hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
May 1 was the last time law enforcement brought Etika to a treatment facility after he had a scary altercation with police. The following month, on June 19, the night he went missing, Etika uploaded a now deleted YouTube video expressing suicidal ideation and for “leaving such a stained legacy.” He was last heard from around 8 p.m.
On Sunday, June 23 a backpack containing Etika’s belongings were recovered on the Manhattan Bridge in NYC. The following day his body was reportedly pulled from the East River.
In addition to the horror and tragedy of his death is the ongoing suffering he experienced during his final months and what seems to be a system and society that repeatedly failed him. So many Black men struggling with mental illness are under cared for, ignored, and marginalized — by society and in treatment.
Our hearts are with Etika’s friends and loved ones and everyone struggling.
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
We mourn the loss of Etika, a beloved member of our gaming creator community. All of us at YouTube are sending condolences to his loved ones and fans.
— YouTube Creators (@YTCreators) June 25, 2019
He was a great Entertainer. One of the best streamers in the game. He lost a channel of over 800k subs and made a new one and was right back pulling thousands of viewers. Wherever he’s laid to rest I’ll be there. #JOYCONBOYZFOREVER
— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) June 25, 2019
If you are suffering from symptoms of mental illness and are struggling in need of help, you are loved, valid, and important. And you deserve help. Here are some intersectional wellness resources for support:
National Center For Transgender Equality
National Queer & Trans Therapist of Color Network Directory
Open Path Psychotherapy Collective
Therapy For Black Girls
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