Carmela Wallace, mother of late rapper Juice WRLD, opened up about her late son’s “struggles with addiction, anxiety, and depression” to mark World Mental Health Day 2020.
In the letter, Wallace writes of the “Lucid Dreams” star, real name Jarad Anthony Higgins: “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,” she admitted. “I encouraged him to always share his feelings.”
Juice WRLD died on December 8th, 2019 at the age of 21. His death was ruled an accidental overdose “as a result of oxycodone and codeine toxicity.”
In his memory, Wallace also revealed that she has established a new website, Live Free 999, in the hopes that it will be “a resource to those that are struggling”.
“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,” she continued.
“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.”
For more information on Wallace’s new venture, visit https://livefree999.org/.
Juice WRLD’s Mom Pens Open Letter and Announces Live Free 999 Website Launch on World Mental Health Day
In conjunction with World Mental Health Day, Juice WRLD‘s mom has launched the official website for Live Free 999—a charitable organization founded posthumously in the rapper’s honor.
Carmella Wallace announced the launch in an open letter Saturday, about 10 months after Juice—birth name Jarad Anthony Higgins—died of an accidental drug overdose. Wallace reflected on her relationship with her son, recalling everything from his unyielding passion for music to his struggles with addiction, anxiety, and depression.
“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,” she wrote in a letter shared with Complex. “As a parent, I believed early on and supported Jarad having access to counseling. I encouraged him to always share his feelings.”
Live Free 999’s primary goal is to support programs that help young people successfully address their mental health issues, such as depression and substance dependency. The organization also recently donated musical instruments to Juice’s childhood school in Chicago Heights, Illinois, with the intention of promoting music education.
“His loving spirit which is communicated through his music has touched so many people,” Wallace continued. “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. 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.”
To learn more about Live Free 99 services, visit its newly launched wesbite. You can also read Wallace’s full letter below
Jarad and I were always close. We liked to play