Naomi Judd’s death sparks new conversations about mental health, depression amid pandemic

ATLANTA — The world of country music is mourning a star after Naomi Judd died this weekend. Just 24 hours later, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The 76-year-old’s death by suicide is putting a new focus on mental health.

Channel 2s’ Lori Wilson spoke with a psychologist about the pain many people are feeling right now.

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“I’m going to make this fast, because my heart’s broken,” daughter Wynonna Judd said as the duo was inducted in to the Hall of Fame. “It’s a very strange dynamic, to be this broken and this blessed.”

Judd had been open and honest about her mental health and battle with depression, a foe that isolation and a pandemic rubbed raw.

Psychologist Rosalyn Pitts-Carter said mental health struggles like depression can be triggered by our environment and experiences that tap into something already in our makeup.


“It’s biological,” Pitts-Carter said. “It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s nothing that you’ve done or haven’t done. You’re biologically predisposed to experience these symptoms.”

Pitts-Carter points out the during the pandemic, we’ve had stressor after stressor and many people have not had a break.

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Wynona Judd and sister Ashley Judd said getting back on tour, or perhaps even this weekend’s induction ceremony, likely would have lifted their mother’s spirits. But Pitt-Clark said that still would only have been a temporary relief.

“The best form of treatment is medication combined with talk therapy,” Pitts-Carter said.

The Judds were scheduled to play at the Gas South Arena in Duluth in October.

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