Who is Punz? Internet rallies behind YouTuber after mental health break announcement

'Streams are going to be put on hold indefinitely,' YouTuber Punz announced, after which Internet was flooded with messages of support

                            Who is Punz? Internet rallies behind YouTuber after mental health break announcement
Internet has YouTuber Punz in a screenshot from one of his videos (YouTube)

No job is easy, and sometimes even the most fun ones can be extremely stressful, as some users learn on September 7. YouTuber Punz, known for his Minecraft content announced he was taking an indefinite break from streaming, for mental health reasons. His short announcement on Twitter was instantly met with support, as he got hundreds of messages from fans and friends wishing him well.

Punz's announcement comes just days after tennis star Naomi Osaka announced she too was going on an indefinite break, following her shocking exit from the US Open. Last month, Iggy Azalea went viral for dropping several truth bombs about mental health on Twitter, including asking for labels to hire psychologists. The topic, once a taboo, has now become a key conversation piece across the globe, inspiring storylines like the one in Apple TV Plus' 'Ted Lasso' Season 2


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The effects of social media on mental health have been well documented, but those creating content have often been left out of the conversation. In the past, there have been reports of the struggles content creators face, but since they are effectively freelancers they have little recourse when it comes to seeking help. That's why Punz's break matters. He's not the first to take a break, but he is one of the biggest YouTuber's to publicly announce his struggles with mental health.


Who is Punz?

As with many YouTubers, the real identity of Punz remains a bit of a mystery. On Instagram, he has revealed his name only as Luke, and he is reportedly from Massachusetts. We know he has a dog named Teddy, and one website says he lives with his parents, but it's not clear where. The 24-year-old star joined YouTube in 2018 and has since amassed 353k subscribers. Before YouTube though, he shot to fame for his content on Twitch, where he is now an "official streaming partner".

Initially, Punz became well-known for streaming Minecraft and even joined the 2020 Minecraft Championship. However, since then he's diversified a bit. He now frequently uploads Among Us content and even runs an official merchandise store. In November 2020, he received YouTube's award for passing 100k subscribers. He also has a partnership with G Fuel Energy, the energy drink brand that's well known for sponsoring e-sports tournaments. It's unclear how much that deal is worth though, or even what his net worth is. 



Punz on a break, 'don't apologize' replies internet

On September 7, Punz tweeted, "Hey guys, I know this is kind of out of the blue but streams are going to be put on hold indefinitely for a mental health break. i’m sorry." That tweet was instantly met with an outpouring of support, as people rallied behind Punz.



"don't apologize u got it pal," fellow YouTuber Quadeca replied. Another influencer tweeted, "breaks can be the best thing you can give yourself Punz. treat yourself well with love and respect!" One user replied, "Love you always Punzo! As much as I always tease you I hope you know truly proud I am of you. I consider myself very lucky to call you my friend! Take all the time you need lovely, we will all still be here for you!"





"Take all the time you need," one person said. Another user tweeted, "my heart genuinely hurts for punz. I wish he knew that he doesn’t need to apologize for taking a break and putting himself first :(( he’s always worried about us, so I really hope he can spend this time to focus on himself."




In 2018, YouTuber Lilly Singh made headlines by becoming one of the biggest stars to announce a break for mental health reasons. Over the years, countless others have also suffered burnouts like Elle Mills,  Rubén "El Rubius" Gundersen, and Benjamin Vestergaard (Crainer). Breaks are no longer considered taboo, but the challenges persist for creators, especially in the post-pandemic world where more and more people are jumping online as creators.

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