One of the most popular Twitch streamers, Ben “DrLupo” Lupo has grown significantly with the emergence of Fortnite Battle Royale, and now streams to tens of thousands of viewers everyday.
With such a large audience, DrLupo comes across people in all sorts of situations and going through different struggles. Viewers who are having suicidal thoughts, depression, etc. are alarmingly common, prompting Lupo to address it via social media.
It is also the case that Lupo’s audience varies greatly in age range, and with Fortnite being so accessible to very young players and Lupo running a family-friendly stream, he is likely often speaking to children or teenagers when receiving these messages.
It’s not just about protecting and helping the viewers sending these messages. Part of the reason Lupo has spoken up, especially for large streamers who get these messages frequently, is because it “takes a toll” on the streamer too.
To make matters worse, often the easiest or only way to communicate with a large streamer while they are live is by donating, so to grab the streamers attention as opposed to the message being lost in a busy chat.
Because a viewer has then donated, streamers will feel an obligation of sorts to respond to their message meaningfully, as a way of thanks.
But when a donation asks for advice when feeling suicidal, it can be difficult for a streamer to know how to properly respond – as DrLupo explains, they are not therapists.
Please find a professional to talk to if you need an ear. Therapists exist for a reason, and they are damn good at what they do. I know it doesn't work for everyone, but it's a start.
Streamers are not therapists. We care, but it takes a toll.
— DrLupo (@DrLupoOnTwitch) July 10, 2018
It is not the first time DrLupo has addressed this issue, as he has previously spoken directly to viewers live on stream to give them the same advice – seek professional help.
Another issue which large streamers often have are donations which are effectively trolls, telling a terrible story of suicide and depression, but it being completely false and simply an attempt to dupe the streamer into believing it.
This makes it even more difficult to respond when someone is making a genuine plea, as the streamer must discern the trolls from the real messages.