TAMPA, Fla. — Natasha Pierre has been dealing with her own mental health issues for years. She understands because she counsels others, people don’t think she needs help herself.
“I’ve lived with the diagnosis for over 20 years," she said. "But, because, I’m high functioning. Because, I can talk with you and do an interview, I stand outside of the empathy. So, day to day interactions I don’t get that kindness. It’s the same thing for politicians. It’s the same thing for clergy."
Pierre said Naomi Judd’s death shows mental health can affect anyone, no matter their fame or wealth.
She also credited Judd’s daughters for being open about what happened.
They posted on social media, “We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness.”
Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.— Wynonna (@Wynonna) April 30, 2022
“I love the way that they phrased it instead of sharing suicide if that was the cause because there is still that stigma around people who die in that manner," Pierre said.
At the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, CEO Clara Reynolds said they are dealing with a behavioral health tsunami after two years of COVID-19 and byproducts of the pandemic.
“Mental health is so isolating for the individual who is struggling, and they may feel like there’s nobody out there who understands or who has ever experienced what they are experiencing," Reynolds said. "But, if the pandemic taught us anything, it is that mental health is something that we all have to work and struggle with in order to be able to maintain it."
Experts advise to check on those who have issues in the past, or even those who you think might have it perfect.
Naomi Judd was very open with her severe depression and anxiety. She was supposed to appear with her daughters last night for her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The help is available. It’s just a matter of recognizing you need it.
“The toughest thing is to reach out and admit that something is wrong, that you are struggling, and ask for help," Reynolds said.
For those who need help, call 211 or the National Suicide Prevention Hot-line: 800-273-8255.