JoVianni Smith

Star athlete teen takes her own life amid ‘stresses and pressures’ during coronavirus lockdown: Reports

A California mother is raising suicide awareness after her 15-year-old daughter took her own life last week, amid stay-at-home orders due to coronavirus rules. reports that Danielle Hunt’s daughter, Jo’Vianni Smith, was found dead inside their Stockton apartment last week from the “stresses and pressures from coping with the self-isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.” Hunt said her star athlete daughter hanged herself without leaving a note or any sign of being overwhelmed.

Hunt, reportedly a single mother with a catering business,  said she spoke to her “bubbly” teen often during the coronavirus lockdown. She’s urging parents to check in as often as they can with their children and to talk to them about dealing with their feelings during the coronavirus pandemic.

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“I felt that I was doing all that I could as a parent to leave the communication open,” Hunt told FOX40. “We can’t think that our kids are OK just because.”

Smith attended Bear Creek High School, where she excelled at sports, according to former coach, Bill Fletcher, who told ExtraInning that the girl had a “bright future.”

“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…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.”

Experts said suicide during coronavirus lockdown is likely to keep happening to certain groups of people. From the uncertainty of the future, unemployment, to those who can’t see their therapists, there are several reasons behind it. Connecting with others is the key to helping, USA Today reports.

Licensed clinical social worker Norine VanderHooven told the outlet that some people simply cannot handle the isolation.

Isolation is a big trigger for a lot of people,” VanderHooven said. “With SARS or H1N1 it was on such a different scale than what we’re dealing with now. People are becoming so anxious because they don’t know what to expect. Anxiety is fear of the unexpected or unknown.”

Anyone with suicidal thoughts can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-273-8255.

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[Feature Photo: Jo’Vianni Smith/GoFundMe]