Ashley Judd says she is back in therapy after tabloids released photos earlier this month from her mother's death.
The actress, who spoke to The Guardian in an interview, said she "re-enrolled myself... just to make sure that my healing was concretized and stout and was going to hold."
Judd's mother, singer Naomi Judd -- one half of The Judds -- died by suicide in April 2022. Ashley Judd said she spent three months in the fall following her mother's death doing psychotherapy, specifically eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, or EMDR.
According to the American Psychological Association, EMDR is an approach developed specifically for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Individuals whose loved ones die by suicide can suffer from a variety of mental health conditions, including PTSD.
EMDR is a unique form of therapy in that it doesn't require talking in detail about the distressing issue or completing homework between sessions, according to the EMDR International Association. Rather, it focuses on "changing the emotions, thoughts or behaviors resulting from the distressing issue" and "allows the brain to resume its natural healing process," the association states on its website.
Since her mother's death, Ashley Judd and her sister, Wynonna Judd, have put a spotlight on mental health. One month after Naomi Judd's passing, Ashley Judd opened up to "Good Morning America" about her mother's mental health struggles.
"It's very real," she said at the time. "It lies. It's savage."
Ashley Judd and her family, including Naomi Judd's husband Larry Strickland, are also advocating to tighten access to public records -- medical records, law enforcement investigative reports, 911 call recordings, photographs and any other recordings -- related to a death that wasn't the result of a crime.
The bill, SB 009, was filed in November 2022 in Tennessee, amid pressure from the Judd family to keep details of Naomi's death from public view. Currently, the public records law in Tennessee allows for the release of selected local law enforcement records, but police can decide to withhold them if an investigation is ongoing.
While Ashley Judd, in her interview with The Guardian, didn't directly respond to the tabloids that chose to publish an image of a note that her mother left behind, she released a statement on Instagram a week ago that detailed the distress her family is experiencing over the "ongoing requests and details and images of our beloved mother and wife's death by suicide."
"This so-called 'journalism' is merely the crudest monetization of a family's suffering and despair, and a flagrant cynical disregard for public welfare," Ashley Judd said. "It is equally a deep violation of our right to a modicum of decency and privacy in death."
"The note that was left came from the complex disease of mental illness and not from her mother's heart," she added. "We hope the public and elected officials now see, with us, the keen importance of strengthening and changing state privacy laws so that police reports in the event of death by suicide are not, in fact, public record."
"The consequence of the law as it is presently serves only the craven gossip economy and has no public value or good," Ashley Judd said.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org. Free, confidential help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You are not on your own.