Naomi Judd died of self-inflicted firearm wound, Ashley Judd reveals
Editor’s note: If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health matters, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 to connect with a trained counselor or visit the NSPL site.
(CNN) — Ashley Judd and her family wanted the world to hear from them how Naomi Judd died.
The younger Judd appeared in an interview with Diane Sawyer, which aired on Thursday on “Good Morning America.” She said her family had agreed that she share the cause of death of her mother.
“She used a weapon,” Ashley Judd said. “A firearm. So that’s the piece of information we are very uncomfortable sharing.”
She and her sister Wynonna Judd announced on April 30 that they had lost their mother “to the disease of mental illness.” She was 76.
Ashley Judd said she and her family wanted to shed light on mental illness, explaining that it is “important to make the distinction between the loved one and the disease.”
Judd said the family reluctantly shared the cause of death before it became public in some other way. She also revealed that she was the one who discovered her mother, who had been outspoken about her battle with depression, after it happened.
“I have both grief and trauma from discovering her,” said Judd, who began the interview by thanking everyone for the support she and her family have received in the wake of their grief.
The matriarch died the day before she and her daughter Wynonna, who made up the country music duo The Judds, were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Ashley Judd said her mother “couldn’t hang on” to be recognized by her peers.
“That is the level of catastrophe of what was going on inside of her,” Judd said. “Because the barrier between the regard in which they held her couldn’t penetrate into her heart and the lie the disease told her was so convincing.”
The Judd sisters attended the ceremony and honored their mother.
CMT will air a televised memorial for Judd on Sunday.
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Suicide prevention resources
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or exhibiting warning signs, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Utah Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, which is answered 24/7/365 by crisis counselors at Huntsman Mental Health Institute.
You can also text TALK to 741741 and parents, students, and educators can download the SafeUT app chat or call 833-3SAFEUT to connect with a licensed crisis counselor.
- Parents, students, and educators can download the SafeUT app chat or call 833-3SAFEUT to connect with a licensed crisis counselor.
- First responders, including firefighters, law enforcement, EMS, and healthcare professionals, can chat with a crisis counselor at no cost 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUT Frontline app and members of the National Guard can access help through the SafeUTNG app.
- For non-crisis situations, when you need a listening ear as you heal and recover from a personal struggle, call the Utah Warm Line at 1-833 SPEAKUT 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m., 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- At Huntsman Mental Health Institute, women can access maternal mental health services including birth trauma, pregnancy loss, infertility, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
- LiveOnUtah.org, a campaign by the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition offers suicide prevention training and has resources for faith-based groups, youth, LGBTQ+, and Employers.
Other community-based organizations that provide suicide prevention services, support groups, mental health education, counseling services and support:
- NAMI Utah: education, support and advocacy for individuals and families impacted by mental illness
- Latino Behavioral Health Services: Latinx mental health education and support
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Utah Chapter
- Encircle Utah: LGBTQ+ family and youth resource center
- Utah Pride Center: empowers Utah’s diverse LGBTQ+ community
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs mental health
- Center for Workplace Mental Health: suicide prevention and response for employers
Additional crisis hotlines
- Utah County Crisis Line: 801-226-4433
- Salt Lake County/UNI Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
- Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line: 801-373-7393
- National Suicide Prevention Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741-741
- Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386
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