THE wife of Danny Frawley has revealed her husband’s mental health had deteriorated in the weeks leading up to his death, and she’s urging others grappling with mental demons not to abandon their support networks.
The ex-Saints captain, Richmond coach and prominent AFL commentator died last Monday in a car crash near Ballarat, the day after his 56th birthday.
St Kilda’s Moorabbin headquarters will host Frawley’s memorial service this Wednesday.
The service will start at 3pm and the public will be able to watch a live stream of the private funeral at Moorabbin.
There will be a lap of honour at 5pm.
Instead of flowers, Frawley’s family has requested donations be sent to Beyond Blue.
Anita Frawley says her husband was a champion of mental health and would have wanted her to continue his legacy and be open with the public about the events leading up to his death.
She says her husband returned to being the “Danny of old” a few years ago after accepting psychiatric treatment, counselling and medication.
But she said the road leading up to his death began eight months ago when he decided to take himself off his prescribed medication.
“At this point Danny felt invincible, like the true competitor and proud man that he was; he felt that he had beaten the disease,” Anita wrote in a heartfelt statement.
“In fact, he felt bullet proof, which contributed to his decision to remove himself from his support network including his psychiatric care and not continuing to work with his team of mental health professionals.
“The reason I am making this public is that I want this to be a reminder to all those grappling with mental health conditions and to those whom have made progress with their wellbeing that you should always seek help from professionals when considering making decisions surrounding your mental health, even when you feel as though you have fully recovered.”
Anita said the family’s final memory of Frawley was one they will cherish forever.
“A night spent sitting around our family table, playing board games and laughing on his 56th birthday. He will never be forgotten and will forever be in our hearts,” she wrote.
“I would like to leave everyone with this quote from Danny, ‘Manning up in the past was to suffer in silence, manning up now is to put your hand up’.
“Danny, you were the love of my life and will continue to be until our paths cross again.”
Lifeline 13 11 14
beyondblue 1300 22 4636