Teenage girl kills herself after struggling to cope with the pressure of stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus outbreak
A California teenage girl ended her own life after she reportedly couldn’t handle the self-isolation orders amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Last week, as reported by Mail Online, the 15-year-old Jo’Vianni Smith was found dead in her home. She committed suicide by hanging herself. The reason – she felt unbearably pressured by the state’s new stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The girl’s mother, Danielle Hunt, couldn’t believe that her ‘bubbly’ and ‘loving’ daughter was now gone. She shared with Fox 40:
“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. 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.”
The young girl, who was a sophomore this year, was also a stellar athlete at her school. Jo’Vianni played softball, basketball and played music. After learning of the teenager’s death, one of her former softball coaches, Bill Fletcher, shared a touching note, according to Extra Inning Softball:
“She was 15 years old. Her name is Jo’Vianni “Jo” Smith. Jo was a great athlete. She excelled at softball, basketball and track. She had blazing speed. Jo was a bright star with a great personality and a huge heart. and a bright future.”
The softball coach explains he also has a young daughter who plays softball for her school team, and their family was home since March 13th. He continues:
“It’s been extremely hard to relate to what these kids are going through. I have daily conversations with my 2 high schoolers and encourage them to reach out to their friends and teammates. I can’t imagine what Jo was going through to come to this conclusion.”
Jo’Vianni’s family and friends used social media to share heartening tributes after news of her passing reached the community.
Bear Creek athletics said Jo’Vianni had a ‘joyful spirit’.
After hearing of the 15-year-old’s tragic death, the Lodi Unified School District released a statement, expressing their condolences:
“We were deeply saddened to learn of Jo’Vianni Smith’s passing. Jo’vianni was well loved by the Bear Creek High community. 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.”
The girl’s mother hopes to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and the possibility of suicides during the coronavirus pandemic. Jo’Vianni wasn’t the only student who killed herself because she couldn’t cope up with the isolation. Education officials said two other students also committed suicide.
The devastated mother believes parents should openly talk to their children and consider helping them get through the pandemic’s struggles, even if they seem joyful. She, shares:
“I will still do my best to tell my daughter’s story. Sometimes we may need to stop and worry about the kids that we don’t think we need to worry about.”
The director of behavioral health for Golden Valley Health Centers, Jorge Fernandez, claims there are resources for mental health people can reach out to 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.”
On behalf of Jo’s mother, a GoFundMe page has been created, to help her family with memorial arrangements and financial strain.
Any additional money will go towards a scholarship fund for female athletes.
“The scholarship would assist a female athlete who aspires to play at a college level but may be experiencing hardships in their lives.”
Meanwhile, a Kaiser Family Foundation report found people’s mental health is being challenged during the outbreak.
Apparently, women are suffering at higher rates than men, as 53 percent claim that coronavirus-related stressors had negatively affected their mental health.
Even though the California governor Gavin Newsom was the first to implement mandatory stay-at-home orders in the states on March 19, they are still experiencing challenges in assembling enough testing sites, and facilities are backlogged with results. Newsom took the blame for the testing lapse in his coronavirus response:
“The testing space has been a challenging one for us and I own that. And I have a responsibility as your governor to do better and do more testing in the state of California. I own that, you deserve better and more.”
By Monday, April 13, the total confirmed coronavirus cases in California are 23,311, with 682 deaths.