Juice WRLD left us way too soon, and we’re reminded of that almost every single day as we see artists throughout the industry pay their respects.
Carmela Wallace, Juice WRLD’s mother, sat down with ABC 7 Chicago recently to talk about her son for the first time since his death. Throughout the conversation, Wallace explains that her son’s passing can serve as an example for others–as long as she is open about what really happened.
“It was devastating,” Wallace said. “But, one thing I decided early on was that I was not going to hide the fact that he died from a drug overdose. I did not want to keep that a secret because there are a lot of people who deal with that every day.”
She went on to say that she and Juice talked about everything while he was still here, which included his addiction. That led to a conversation about self-medication and putting his mental health in perspective.
“I said, ‘if you have anxiety, then you need to get medicated properly for it instead of medicating yourself,'” she revealed. “I talked to him about it. I told him my biggest fear was him overdosing on the stuff. That’s why I made the decision I have to talk about it with other people. I can’t keep that as a secret.”
In an effort to address this issue for others, Wallace is starting the Live Free 999 Foundation. The organization will help young people dealing with mental health issues and drug addiction. When talking about the foundation, Wallace explains that a lot of Juice WRLD’s fans and friends have reached out to her to disclose their own mental health issues, which is what moved her to start the foundation.
The foundation also aims at helping those who are suffering from drug addiction find proper resources and support programs to help them overcome their addiction. The program hopes to change the conversation about mental health in underserved communities too.
“That’s our objective with our foundation. Normalize the conversation, so it has to start with me,” she continued. “I hope it’s what he wanted, was a legacy of healing. To let people know that you don’t have to suffer alone.”
See more of what Wallace has to say about her son and the Live Free 999 Foundation down below: