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Ashley Judd discusses mom Naomi's struggle with mental illness at White House

Ashley Judd discussed her late mom, Naomi Judd, and her own mental health journey at the launch of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
1 of 3 | Ashley Judd discussed her late mom, Naomi Judd, and her own mental health journey at the launch of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

April 24 (UPI) -- Ashley Judd discussed mom Naomi Judd's struggle with mental illness during a visit to the White House.

The 56-year-old actress opened up about her mom, who died by suicide at age 76 in April 2022, and her own mental health journey while attending the launch of the Biden-Harris administration's National Strategy for Suicide Prevention on Tuesday.

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"I am 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," Judd said.

Judd remembered Naomi Judd as a Grammy-winning singer and natural performer who was also "a survivor of childhood and adult male sexual violence."

She said her mom "lived most of her life with an untreated and undiagnosed mental illness that lied to her and stole from her," adding that "it stole from our family, and she deserved better."

Judd also shared her own experience of surviving childhood sexual abuse and depression.

"I know the feeling of not wanting to be here but I had a different experience because I went to treatment in 2006 for unresolved childhood grief and sexual trauma," the star said.

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"And I've been in recovery for 18 years and I've had a different outcome than my mother, and I carry a message of hope and recovery," she added.

Judd and her sister, singer Wynonna Judd, paid tribute to their mom in the CMT special Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration, which aired in May 2022.

Wynonna Judd also helped organize A Tribute to the Judds, a star-studded tribute album to The Judds, the country music duo she performed in with Naomi Judd.

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