Naomi Judd’s death in 2022 shocked millions of people across the country and around the world. The late country star had been known to struggle with mental health, but no one expected what happened in April 2022.

Her family, as expected, was devastated by her passing. Now, almost two years after the death, her daughter Ashley Judd is opening up about the entire ordeal.

Ashely Judd was at the White House earlier this week to tell her family’s story in order to help the Biden Administration promote their newly formed National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.

Actress Ashley Judd’s mother, the late country music legend Naomi Judd, died by suicide on April 30, 2022. She was 76 years old. Ashely Judd addressed the event and talked of her late mother’s struggle with her mental health and depression.

“I’m here because I am my beloved mother’s daughter and on the day she died, which will be the two-year anniversary in one week, the disease of mental illness was lying to her, and with great terror convinced her that it would never get better,” the emotional singer said in her speech.


She went on in her address, speaking of how her late mother had “lived most of her life with an untreated and undiagnosed mental illness that lied to her and stole from her… It stole from our family, and she deserved better.”

56-year-old Judd also talked about her own experiences with childhood trauma and how it had resulted in depression. However, she has addressed her trauma and depression with the help of professionals.

“I’ve been in good recovery for 18 years and I’ve had a different outcome than my mother,” Ashley said. “I carry a message of hope and recovery.”


She also brought along some pictures she wanted to share with everyone following her address at the Biden Administration’s event organized due to new efforts to address the mental health crisis the nation faces.

Shortly after Naomi’s death, Ashley gave an interview with Diane Sawyer, where she revealed that she had been the one to find her mother’s body after she had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. She also was the person who broke the news to Larry Strickland, her stepfather.

She recalled the final time she had spent with her mother, the same day she had taken her own life, “It was a mixed day. I visit with my mom and pop every day when I’m home in Tennessee, so I was at the house visiting as I am every day. Mom said to me, ‘Will you stay with me?’ and I said, ‘Of course I will’… I went upstairs to let her know that her good friend was there and I discovered her. I have both grief and trauma from discovering her.”


While she noted that speaking of her mother’s struggles and death was hard for her, she still wanted to do it in order to raise more awareness about mental health.

“When we’re talking about mental illness, it’s very important to be clear and to make the distinction between our loved one and the disease,” she shared. “It’s very real, and it lies. It’s savage.”

Ashley’s older sister, 59-year-old singer Wynonna Judd also spoke to the media in April 2023 at the CMT Music Awards last year, before her mother’s first death anniversary.

“I’m going to use my time to talk to anyone out there who is struggling,” Wynonna said on the red carpet before the event. “It’s an opportunity to help somebody.”

“It’s a bittersweet time,” she went on. While her mother’s first death anniversary approached, her granddaughter’s first birthday also came. “I’ve got both agony and ecstasy happening,” the singer said.


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