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Friday, April 17, 2020

15-Year Old Black Teen Commits Suicide, Had Mental Health Issues While Self-Quarantining

Jo'Vianni Smith, Black teen who committed suicide while quarantining

Stockton, CA — Jo’Vianni Smith, a 15-year old girl from California who loved playing softball, has reportedly committed suicide after struggling to cope with being isolated during the lockdown imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.

The teenager, who was a very talented softball player and track star at Bear Creek High School in Stockton, died on April 2 after she hung herself at home without leaving a note.

“The world was taken away from her when she couldn’t do sports — that was her world,” Danielle Hunt, her mother, told KCRA TV¬†about the possible reason for her daughter’s suicide.

Hunt remembered her daughter as a bubbly girl and she was devastated with her sudden death. She wanted other parents to know about what happened to her daughter to serve as a lesson and possibly help save their children.

“Sometimes we may need to stop and worry about the kids that we don’t think we need to worry about.”

Bill Fletcher, one of her former coaches, described Smith as “a bright star with a great personality and a huge heart and a bright future” in a Facebook post. He said he was also mourning her death.

“I’ve coached for over 28 years and these young ladies are like daughters to me. My heart is broken and I can’t stop crying,” he added.

Moreover, Smith is just one of at least five cases of suicide in their neighborhood. Psychologists said self-quarantining could really be hard for teenagers, especially that they tend to value social groups more but they can’t see their friends at this time.

Alfonso Apu, director of behavioral health at Stockton’s Community Medical Center, suggests that parents have “to increase communication. If you see changes — sad, isolating too much — that is when you start asking questions.”

“The number one question is: How do you feel? Are you having thoughts of hurting yourself?” he continued. “Some parents think this puts the thought [of suicide] into a child’s head. But it is reality and you have to be able to talk about it.”

Donations can be made to her family via their GoFundMe page.

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