A 40-year-old YouTuber from Idaho died Thursday in an apparent suicide, People magazine reported.
Steve Cash had nearly 2.5 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, “Talking Kitty Cat,” as of Sunday. His wife, Celia DeCosta Cash, announced the star’s passing in an emotional Facebook post Friday.
“This is so hard,” she began, according to People. “I’m not even sure what to say, or for that matter, what to do. I just lost my best friend, my sidekick, my lover, my mentor, my absolute everything, this morning.
“I’m so sad to say, my husband, Steve Cash took his own life this morning,” she went on. “It hurts me to share this. Please understand, give the family time to grieve, but know that Steve is no longer in pain.”
A sudden tragedy
Founded over a decade ago, Cash’s YouTube channel was focused on music and his pet cat, Sylvester, with whom he would appear to have conversations.
A video put up in late December featured footage of Sylvester eating cat food that had been purchased with income from his YouTube performances. Later, the pair are depicted as being accused of committing payroll fraud and must make a court appearance.
The episode concluded with Sylvester “rapping” about his ill-gotten gains and a judge sentencing Cash to prison for his unwitting role in the scheme.
At the end of the video, Cash offered some candid thoughts about the state of his mental health and his ongoing struggle with bipolar disorder.
“To those of you who are wondering why it takes me so long sometimes between videos to get anything out, it is because I have bipolar disorder, which means I spend sometimes a couple months to six months or longer stuck in a really, really deep depression,” he said, according to Metro.
He went on: “It just comes and goes and I don’t really have any control over it. So when it is taking me a long time to get a video out, I’m sorry, it’s just that I’m struggling.”
A growing problem
Suicide rates have gone up dramatically in the U.S. over the last two decades, with the American Psychological Association (APA) reporting a 30% increase between 2000 and 2016.
A report released by the APA stated that in 2016, suicide was “the second-leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 34 and the fourth-leading cause among people ages 35 to 54.” It’s heartbreaking to see that number is still going up.