NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The shocking death of country music icon Naomi Judd leaves others struggling with depression searching for hope. 

The clinical director at Volunteer Behavioral Health Care System says she is hearing the impact from clients firsthand. 

“I have clients even today that have suffered with depression and they said if that’s what happened to her and she’s on top of the world, is there hope for me? I really didn’t expect that much of an impact today, a few days later maybe, but it’s already impacting our clients, and I’m sure if I’m seeing it then other therapists in our organization and other therapists in the nation are also seeing it,” Beth Walser told News 2.

Behind the glitz and glamor, Naomi struggled with mental illness and depression. While she was open about it, it still shocked all of us. Not only was Naomi scheduled to be at the Country Music Hall of Fame Sunday night, but she was set to hit the road with Wynonna in the fall for their first tour in more than a decade. 

Just weeks before her death, Naomi and Wynonna took the stage for what would be their last public performance, reuniting for one of their most iconic songs “Love Can Build a Bridge.” 

Music was critical for Naomi as she battled depression. 

“The music I created, this meditation music just would help me,” she told Robin Roberts in a previous interview. 

The country music icon wrote about her struggles in a memoir in 2016, “River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope.” In it, she writes about a bridge from a much darker side saying, “Never did I expect that only months after the Encore tour ended, I would feel I had every reason to jump off a bridge to end my tortured existence.”

“I’m so broken,” Wynonna told the crowds Sunday night at the Country Music Hall of Fane as she accepted The Judds’ induction into the converted hall. 

Naomi’s daughters found the strength and courage to move forward with the induction just one day after her death.

“My momma loved you so much and she appreciated your love for her and I’m sorry she couldn’t hang on until today,” Ashley Judd cried from the podium. 

“Help Today… For a Better Tomorrow” — that’s the slogan at Volunteer Behavioral Health Care System.

“It does not matter, celebrity or homeless, depression and other mental illnesses can impact us all,” said Walser.

The clinical director says we may not ever understand the reasoning behind this tragedy, but that it’s important for all of us to wrap around our friends and families and offer support as they need. 

“We knew there was some depression there but no one expected this and I feel like that happens a lot with the clients that we see,” she explained. 

Hopefully, Naomi’s tragic story can help someone else who may be struggling. 

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