The mother of late rapper, Juice WRLD, Carmela Wallace has shared an open letter for this year’s World Mental Health Day.
The letter touches on the struggles of the rapper, who died of an accidental overdose last year and reminds those who are struggling that there’s help available.
In the letter, which you can read in full via Billboard, Wallace discusses Juice WRLD’s love for music.
“Jarad and I were always close. We liked to play pinball together. We had long conversations about his future and about the world in general,” she wrote.
“But like any mother and son, we had our issues. Jarad came from a family where academics were the highest priority, so I wanted him to focus on school, but he was always more interested in music. His teachers would often tell me that he was extremely gifted, but that he was always focused on his music.”
Wallace goes on to say, “Jarad and I often had frank discussions about his struggles with addiction, anxiety and depression.”
“I think he felt comfortable being honest with me because I never judged him. I recognized that what Jarad was dealing with was a disease and I know he truly wanted to be free from the demons that tormented him. As a parent, I believed early on and supported Jarad having access to counseling.”
“I encouraged him to always share his feelings.”
The letter then discusses the love and support received following Juice WRLD’s passing.
“His loving spirit which is communicated through his music has touched so many people. I launched Live Free 999 so that perhaps his death could mean something for other mothers whose sons and daughters are dealing with the same kinds of issues that my son struggled with,” she said.
“My message to the parents and children is simple. You do not have to suffer alone. You do not have to be ashamed of your mental health struggles. There is help. There is a way out.”
Wallace has also launched a website to support her new foundation, the Live Free 999 Fund. Launched back in April, it aims to help young people struggling with with their mental health.
She said she hopes, “It will be a resource to those that are struggling.”
“If we can help even one Mother and their son or daughter through our work here, Jarad’s death will have meaning and his positive, loving, creative spirit will endure.”