A Stockton, California mother is urging all parents to continuously check-in with their children during the coronavirus crisis, this after her fifteen-year-old daughter committed suicide while trying to cope with stress amid the virus.
Danielle Hunt says that her daughter, Jo’Vianni “Jo” Smith, left no note explaining her death by hanging earlier this month. Hunt shares, “I felt that I was doing all that I could as a parent to leave the communication open.” And now she reminds parents, “Sometimes we may need to stop and worry about the kids that we don’t think we need to worry about.”
Smith was a promising student-athlete who played softball on travel teams as a catcher and second baseman. Her former coach Bill Fletcher took to Facebook to share, “I can’t imagine what Jo was going through to come to this conclusion. Her mom is a single mom with her own catering business, which in these times couldn’t have been going well. I’m asking for you to keep this family in your prayers. I’m asking you to reach out to others and don’t just assume their [sic] doing ok.”
The Lodi Unified School District, where Smith attended school, shared, “We were deeply saddened to learn of Jo’vianni Smith’s passing. Jo’vianni was well-loved by the Bear Creek High community. 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. Our hearts go out to the students, families, and staff impacted by this tragedy. We are providing remote counseling and bereavement services to those who need support right now.”
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-273-8255.