Entertainment & Arts

Queer Eye star Karamo Brown opens up about suicide attempt

Karamo Image copyright Getty Images

Queer Eye star Karamo Brown has urged fans to look after their mental health after revealing he tried to take his own life in 2006.

Brown is the culture expert on the Netflix show, in which five gay men give a straight man a makeover, both physically and often emotionally.

Brown, 37, said he had been "in a very dark place" in 2006 and felt like his life "could not get any better".

But he told fans: "I want you to know that things do get better."

The American presenter rose to fame on MTV's reality series The Real World: Philadelphia in 2004.

He posted an Instagram video on Thursday saying it was exactly 12 years since his suicide attempt. "I was in a very dark place. I just felt like life could not get any better," he said.

"Everything that was happening to me was never going to change, and I tried to take my own life."

He added that the two friends who found him and called an ambulance saved his life. "I probably would not be here today," he said.

Brown co-hosts Queer Eye with Bobby Berk, Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France and Antoni Porowski.

He said helping people was "important to me", adding: "I know so many of us suffer from mental health issues and we just don't know where to turn and every day it seems darker and darker.

"But I want you to know that things do get better. If you get help and you do the work daily, your life can change.

"I'm living proof of that and if you know someone in your life that's going through it, reach out to them. You could be their support."

Image copyright Netflix
Image caption The Queer Eye episode with Tom Jackson from Dallas, Georgia, was hugely popular

His post got many positive messages in response.

One said: "Thank you so much for speaking out about this. Here's to removing the stigma around mental illness, so important to talk and create a safe space to open up. So much love."

Image copyright Austin Hargrave/Netflix

Another said: "This is why I love you and the Fab 5 - you show and share your vulnerability with others, you're open; living from within your depth. Thank you."

He responded on Twitter, saying: "I'm so overwhelmed and inspired by everyone's kind words that I had to do a video. As a mental health professional I believe we all need to make our mental health a priority.

"There is a better day around the corner with support."

How to get help

In the UK. The Samaritans can be contacted free on 116 123 and by email on jo@samaritans.org. There is more information on Samaritans.org.

If you are in the US, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255. There is more information on Suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

The BBC has details of more organisations that can offer support and information on emotional distress.

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