Teen commits suicide likely over stress from coronavirus lockdown
A California teen girl died by suicide — likely while grappling with the stress caused by coronavirus lockdowns, according to reports.
Jo’Vianni “Jo” Smith, 15, was found dead at her Stockton home, where she hanged herself amid the state’s stay-at-home orders, news station KTXL reported.
Her mother, Danielle Hunt, said that Smith left no note explaining her death earlier this month.
But Hunt believes that stress from health crisis may have played a role, according to the outlet.
“I felt that I was doing all that I could as a parent to leave the communication open,” Hunt told the news station, adding that “sometimes we may need to stop and worry about the kids that we don’t think we need to worry about.”
The high school sophomore was a promising student-athlete, playing softball on travel teams as a catcher and second baseman, sports blog Extra Innings Softball reported.
One of her former coaches, Bill Fletcher, wrote on a Facebook group, encouraging other parents to communicate with their children about the pandemic in the wake of Smith’s death, according to the blog.
“I can’t imagine what Jo was going through to come to this conclusion,” Fletcher reportedly wrote. “Her mom is a single mom with her own catering business, which in these times couldn’t have been going well.”
Fletcher begged parents not to assume their children know how to navigate the stress caused by the health crisis.
“I’m asking for you to keep this family in your prayers,” he wrote. “I’m asking you to reach out to others and don’t just assume their [sic] doing ok.”
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