PewDiePie and Jack Black recently teamed up for a Minecraft livestream on YouTube and DLive, with the pair raising support and donations for the mental health charity the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). PewDiePie made a relevant donation of his own to the charity, adding $10,000 of his own money to the pool in memory of the late YouTuber/Twitch streamer Etika.
Etika tragically died of suicide in June after battling mental health issues. PewDiePie and Jack Black’s charity stream was hosted in order to raise awareness of the burnout faced by online creators, with many in the YouTube and Twitch community facing immense publish pressure that ultimately affects their mental health.
PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg, and Black raised $30,479 of their $30,000 goal in two days, with the stream being broadcast live both on YouTube and on the streaming platform DLive, where PewDiePie exclusively hosts his streams. After the streaming goal was met, PewDiePie added an additional $10,000 to the donation pool, tweeting: “For Etika.”
Etika’s shocking death sent reverberations around the gaming community, drawing attention to the mental health issues that being in the public spotlight can exacerbate for many creators.
“During the past several years, celebrities, YouTubers, streamers, and influencers, face tremendous public pressure that leads to a toll being taken on their mental health,” the PewDiePie and Jack Black stream’s Go Fund Me reads. “Because their careers require them to be subject to public scrutiny, many of them are among the most vulnerable to the challenges that social media has created for mental health.”
Etika was a well-known figure in the gaming community, becoming popular for his gaming streams and reaction videos. In the months prior to his death, he had generated concern among his followers for his increasingly erratic behavior, including broadcasting himself being detained by the NYPD to Instagram and being arrested again for assaulting a police officer. He later posted a video titled ‘I’m Sorry,’ with him saying in its description that he was “mentally troubled, and far to stoneheaded to admit it, far too stubborn to face it, and far too scared now to deal with it.”
The donations generated by PewDiePie and Jack Black’s stream will be given to NAMI, the largest grassroots mental health organization in the US that is “dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.”
Update: The GoFundMe campaign page was updated to state that donations would be given to NAMI, not Take This, as was originally stated.