Jo’Vianni Smith suicide: Stockton, California teen girl hangs self after Bear Creek athlete struggled with coronavirus stay at home orders to self isolate. Mental health focus.
Jo’Vianni Smith, 15, of Stockton, was found dead inside her home after hanging herself.
A coach at Jo’Vianni’s school, Bear Creek High School, told Recordnet that ‘the cause of death reportedly was due to the stresses and pressures from coping with the self-isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.’
Smith’s suicide has since led to the teen’s mother, Danielle Hunt speaking out about mental wellbeing in the face of the demands and impositions that public health lockdowns have created.
‘We can’t think that our kids are OK just because … I felt that I was doing all that I could as a parent to leave the communication open,’ Hunt told Fox 40, adding that Jo’Vianni did not leave a suicide note behind.
‘I will still do my best to tell my daughter’s story,’ Hunt reiterated.
Hunt says parents should talk to their children and help them navigate any emotions they have during the pandemic, even if they seem cheerful.
‘Sometimes we may need to stop and worry about the kids that we don’t think we need to worry about,’ she said.
Hunt described her daughter as ‘bubbly,’ ‘loving,’ and the light of her world.
‘It’s like, how do you explain a girl like her? If you met her one time, like, she made an impact in your life,’ she said.
Jo’Vianni Smith was a blaze behind the bat. Her mom says her daughter’s light will continue to shine, despite her tragic ending. Smith died by suicide last week in Stockton. Her mom believes, she was having trouble coping with the stay-at-home order. pic.twitter.com/3fZNGv3dMB
— Kay Recede (@KayRecede) April 10, 2020
Bear Creek athlete remembered:
Jo’Vianni, sophomore, was also a stellar student athlete who played softball, basketball and played music.
Family and friends of Jo’Vianni took to social media to share tributes after news of her passing reached the community. Bear Creek athletics said Jo’Vianni was known for her ‘joyful spirit.’
The Lodi Unified School District released a statement regarding Jo’Vianni’s death.
‘We were deeply saddened to learn of Jo’Vianni Smith’s passing. Jo’vianni was well loved by the Bear Creek High community,’ the statement read.
‘The participated in band, played basketball and softball, and was known for her joyful spirit on campus. She will be dearly missed by those who knew her.’
In addition to Jo’Vianni, education officials said two other students also committed suicide.
Mental health challenged during public health crises:
Jorge Fernandez, the director of behavioral health for Golden Valley Health Centers, said resources for mental health are available during the pandemic.
‘There are services out there. You can reach out to your medical provider. You can call a local suicide hotline…there’s help out there to help you cope with this pandemic that’s going on right now,’ he said.
A GoFundMe has been created to help Jo’Vianni’s family with memorial arrangements and financial strain.
‘Jo was a shining star in our world and she will be deeply missed,’ a description read. ‘In her young spirited life, she touched so many hearts but this has especially rocked our small softball community.’
The family announced that any additional money would go towards a scholarship fund for female athletes ‘who aspire to play at a college level but may be experiencing hardships in their lives.’
Jo’Vianni’s death follows the Kaiser Family Foundation releasing a report that found people’s mental health is being challenged during the outbreak.
Women appeared to be suffering at higher rates then men, as 53 percent said that coronavirus-related stressors had a negative affect on their mental health.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-273-8255.