SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Just one day before being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, 76-year-old Naomi Judd passed away.
Saturday afternoon, her daughters, Wynonna and Ashley Judd announced her death saying they lost their ‘beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness.’
“My momma loved you so much, as she appreciated your love for her, and I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today,” Ashley Judd said at the Country Music Hall of Fame induction Sunday.
Naomi Judd had been open about her struggles with severe depression and anxiety, even highlighting it in a 2016 memoir.
Evonne Hawe with the Helpline Center wants to remind anyone battling mental health issues that you are not alone.
“It’s easy to put on a face and want people to think you’re doing okay when, inside, you’re just crumbling. It’s really about being aware of that for yourself and you don’t have to hold it all together,” Hawe said.
One in five U.S. adults experience mental illness each year. In 2020, 14 million adults experienced serious mental illness. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
“Is there a change in your activities, are you isolating more, staying home more, avoiding going out in public or being with your friends. Sometimes it’s are you crying and you don’t even know what’s going on, it just comes ups,” Hawe said.
Hawe says compassion for one another can go a long way.
“And check in with people. Loved ones, friends, ask them how they’re doing, don’t be afraid to ask those hard questions because by doing that it opens the door that you’re willing to listen. And that’s how you can direct people to where they need the help,” Hawe said.
The Judds had just announced an arena tour that included a stop in Sioux Falls. It would have been the mother-daughter duo’s first tour together in over a decade.
“Though my heart is broken, I will continue to sing, because that’s what we do,” Wynonna Judd at the Country Music Hall of Fame induction Sunday.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness you can find help by calling the Helpline Center at 211. You can also connect with them through the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.