Queer Eye‘s Karamo Brown is diving into a difficult time in his own life in order to inspire followers and fans.
On Thursday, the reality star, 37, posted a moving video on Instagram in which he explained that he attempted suicide 12 years ago to the day.
“Hey friends… today in 2006 I did attempt to commit suicide,” he began. “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.”
He continued, “And if it wasn’t for my best friends Raymond and Tre calling the ambulance, getting me off the couch, I probably would not be here today.”
He went on to discuss the prevalence of mental health struggles in today’s world. “I want you all to know that as you see me on Queer Eye helping people with their mental health… it’s because it’s important to me… because I know so many of us suffer from mental health issues and we just don’t know where to turn,” he said.
Before finishing, he imparted a message of hope to his followers. “Every day it seems darker and darker, but I want you to know that things do get better,” he shared. “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 who’s going through it, reach out to them. You could be their support.”
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In the caption of the video, Brown also referenced his professional background, and the Trevor Project, a nonprofit that works to help LGBTQ youth.
He wrote: “As a mental health professional I believe We all need to make our Mental Health a priority. Wether you’re sad, depressed or suicidal like I was… you can make it through. There is a better day around the corner with support … If you need help call 1-866-488-7386 @trevorproject.”
As the culture expert on Netflix’s reboot of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Brown encourages the show’s subjects to make lifestyle changes to improve how they feel about themselves — and he’s willing to do the same for himself.
The father of two recently shared that his costars, especially foodie Antoni Porowski, completely altered his diet. A year ago, he was all about junk food, but now he often craves leafy greens.
“Antoni has me on this whole fitness kick and every day I am eating big bowls of greens,” Brown told PEOPLE. “I am loving spinach and kale mixed together with cheese sprinkled on the top and a little protein like a meat of some sort. I get up in the morning and I find myself craving that.”
Brown has also enlisted the help the show’s fashion expert Tan France. “Tan is one of the healthiest eaters out of all of us but I never thought I would be a healthy eater,” Brown said. “I was always the one that was like full of garbage. So it’s weird that now my thing that I’m going to is healthy.”
Other ways the cast has helped him? The design of his apartment, thanks to Bobby Berk, and his bald look, courtesy of Jonathan Van Ness.
“Oh my God, they Queer-Eyed me,” Brown told PEOPLE at an event with the rest of the cast promoting their new lifestyle book. “I am having an existential crisis right now because I’m wondering, ‘Am I the one that’s been Queer-Eyed since we started the show?’ “
“It was our secret mission that wasn’t actually televised,” France told him. “We sorted out your hair and now your diet. Imagine what we’re going to do this season.”
If you or someone you know is showing warning signs of suicide, consider contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK, texting the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or seeking help from a professional.