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Thorns goalkeeper Bella Bixby opens up about suicidal thoughts

Portland Thorns goalkeeper Bella Bixby's father died by suicide in November 2021. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Portland Thorns goalkeeper Bella Bixby opened up about her struggle with suicidal thoughts in the aftermath of her father’s death by suicide in November 2021.

Bixby shared her story Wednesday on social media platform X. The 27-year-old described her “feelings of grief, and sadness, and anxiety, and dread” after her father’s passing, and how those led to suicidal ideation.

While she was scared to share her thoughts with her family and friends, she soon realized that she “needed to tell someone.”

“The day I told someone, I felt so much more strength to endure it,” she wrote. “I was able to separate myself from those thoughts and push back. I was afraid that speaking about it would give it more power and make it real. But speaking about was the salvation.”

For a while, Bixby remained hesitant to share her experience “in a more public way,” but with Thursday marking her father’s 66th birthday, she decided: “It’s time.”

“I’m sharing this because if I can help one person realize that they need to tell somebody now, even if it’s passive suicidal ideation, it will be worth it,” she wrote. “… Please, tell someone. Your life is worth living, even if your brain is telling you otherwise.”

For anyone looking to help her in commemorating her father’s life and in advocating for suicide prevention, Bixby encouraged donations to The Trevor Project, Mission22, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Oregon chapter, the Oregon Department of Veteran Affairs or the Oregon Wildlife Foundation.

Note: If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in emotional distress, call or text the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.