In an emotional video posted to Instagram on Thursday, Aug. 30, Karamo Brown shared a message about mental health that emphasizes just how essential friends and family can be for support. In the video, Brown shared that 12 years ago in 2006, he tried to take his own life. He said that his friends encouraged him to seek help. Years later, Brown went on to become one of the stars of Netflix's Queer Eye.
In the video, Brown told his fans and followers:
"Hey friends, so I decided to do a quick little video about the fact that I shared that today in 2006, I did attempt to commit suicide. You know, I was in a very dark place. I just felt like life could not get any better. Everything that was happening to me was never going to change, and I tried to take my own life."
Brown then named the two friends who supported him:
"If it wasn't for my best friends Raymond and Tre calling the ambulance, getting me off that couch, I probably would not be here today."
Brown went on to explain why helping other people, like he and the other Fab Five members do on Queer Eye, is so important to him. He said in the video,
"I want you all to know that, as you see me on Queer Eye, helping people with their mental health, and you see me on my social media helping people, it's because it's important to me. Not just because I'm trained in this field, but because I know so many of us suffer from mental health issues."
In the caption to his Instagram post, Brown shared the phone number for The Trevor Project, 1-866-488-7386. The hotline provides support for LGBTQ youth who are in crisis.
Brown also spoke about his experience with depression during a Today show interview earlier this month. He said that he had suicidal thoughts in his early 20s, after being on the MTV show Real World.
And just like in his message this week, Brown told Today that his support network helped him get through the difficult time. He said in the interview,
"If it wasn't for my roommate, who I had been best friends with since I was 16 years old, calling my mother, I don't know where I'd be right now... It didn't register to me that I had to check in with myself and I had to work on my mental health."
Brown's Today interview, as well as his Instagram video, emphasize just how much of a difference reaching out to someone can make. It can be something as simple as asking someone how they're doing, and actually listening to the answer. And if a friend or family member shares that they're going through something serious, you can also suggest reaching out to a therapist or to a support hotline, as Brown noted.
As Brown said in his video, things really can get better after a difficult time, even if it doesn't seem like it in the moment. And it never hurts to check in on your friends and family members from time to time — whatever their situation is, they'll likely appreciate it.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.