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Ashley Judd, Aloe Blacc help White House with national suicide prevention strategy

The White House said some 132 people die by suicide every day in the United States. The celebrities working with White House have lost loved ones who took their own lives.
Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, Ashley Judd, Shelby Rowe, Executive Director of the Suicide Prevention Research Center.
Posted at 10:56 PM, Apr 25, 2024

Actor Ashley Judd and singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc — who both lost loved ones to suicide — are helping the Biden administration promote its new national strategy to prevent suicide.

Judd's mother, country star Naomi Judd, died nearly two years ago. Blacc's frequent collaborator, Tim Bergling, died in 2018.

They began their work with the Biden administration at an event this week with Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, who helped unveil the administration's blueprint for reducing suicides in the United States. Some 132 people a day die by suicide in the U.S., the White House said.

"We're here ... because we know that we can and will change this," Emhoff said. "Suicide is preventable."

Judd's mother is said to have lived most of her 76 years with an untreated condition, and on the day she died, “the disease of mental illness was lying to her," Ashley Judd said during a discussion moderated by Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy with Blacc and Shelby Rowe, executive director of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

“She deserved better,” Judd said about her mother. Judd said she also has suffered from depression and has had a different outcome because of treatment.

“I carry a message of hope,” she said.

Asked what people can do to help someone in crisis, Rowe said people shouldn't worry about “if you're saying the right thing. Just say something and show up.”

Blacc suggested that people offer a “moment of joy” when they do reach out, such as a memory that sparks laughter or a song. He also encouraged people to remember that they are “the light.”

“There's no such thing as too much love. Let's give as much as we can," he said, before he led the audience in singing the chorus from “This Little Light of Mine.”

The latest push was seen as an update to the ongoing suicide prevention strategy laid out by the White House. In 2022, the White House highlighted the launch of the easy to remember 988 hotline for those in crisis to find quick support over the phone.

If you need to talk to someone, call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 or text "HOME" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.