A Stockton, California mother is speaking out about mental health in quarantine after the tragic suicide of her teenage daughter earlier this month. Fifteen-year-old Jo’Vianni “Jo” Smith was found dead in her home last week of an apparent suicide attempt. While she left no note, her mother, Danielle Hunt, believes stress over the quarantine order led to her decision.
Gone Too Soon
“It’s like, how do you explain a girl like her?,” Hunt told FOX40 news. “If you met her one time, like, she made an impact on your life.”
In response to the news, the Lodi Unified School District has released a statement honoring Smith. “Jo’Vianni was well loved by the Bear Creek High community,” the statement read. “She 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.”
Hunt feels that Smith committed suicide due to stress related to the current pandemic and stay-at-home order. “I felt that I was doing all that I could as a parent to leave the communication open,” she said. “Sometimes we may need to stop and worry about the kids that we don’t think we need to worry about.”
A former coach of Smith’s, Bill Fletcher, shared his thoughts on Facebook about the tragedy. “I can’t imagine what Jo was going through to come to this conclusion,” he said, per the New York Post. “Her mom is a single mom with her own catering business, which in these times couldn’t have been doing well.”
Coronavirus Mental Health Challenges
The last few weeks have seen a focus on mental health in the wake of a number of suicides believed to be related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Washington Examiner reports that, on the week of March 22nd, there were more suicides in one Tennessee county than there were COVID-19 deaths across the entire state.
Last month, 19-year-old Emily Owen of Norfolk, UK took her own life due to stress over COVID-19. According to her family, Owen had been unable to cope “with her world closing in, plans being canceled, and being stuck inside,” per the Daily Mail.
With everyone looking for ways to cope during this challenging times, mental health officials are encouraging people to seek out available resources.
“There’s help out there to help you cope with this pandemic that’s going on right now,” Jorge Fernandez, director of behavioral health Golden Valley Health Centers, told FOX40. “There are services out there. You can reach out to your medical provider. You can call a local suicide hotline.”
FOX40 went on to share the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-273-8255.
Quarantine Suicide — Source:
The Daily Mail
Washington Examiner – “Mother warns of suicide prevention amid coronavirus after teenage daughter kills herself”
Washington Examiner – “Suicides outpacing coronavirus deaths in Tennessee, data says”