Chilling final message from AFL great Danny Frawley
Danny Frawley's final media campaign to change the stigma surrounding mental health in Australia will be screened on Australian TV sets following his death last month.
The AFL legend will speak out from beyond the grave in a chilling TV advertising campaign filmed in the months leading up to his tragic car crash death.
Frawley's battle with depression was confirmed by his wife Anita in the days following his death. She revealed the tragic news that Frawley had been off his medication for eight months before the iconic player, coach and media commentator died the day after his 56th birthday on September 9.
The decision to feature Frawley in mental health charity One In Five's new campaign has been approved and supported by Anita and her children.
The campaign involves Frawley speaking out to raise awareness about the prevalence of mental health conditions in Australia.
"Did you know one in five Australians are living with a mental illness right now'' Frawley says in the video campaign.
"Join us today and help turn one in five, to none in five.
"And change the face of mental illness for everyone.''
The campaign will be broadcast on Channel 7 and SBS.
The campaign will also feature Aussie musician and You Am I frontman Tim Rogers as well as Hollywood star Lucy Lawless.
One in Five said in a statement on its website that Frawley's family encouraged the video of the footy icon to be played, despite his untimely death.
"Danny Frawley was a timeless mental health advocate," the charity said.
"He shared One In Five's belief that cures are possible through research. His family let us share this message in the hope that it helps others. Thankyou Danny. You will be sorely missed and remembered always."
Frawley's appearance on Australian televisions this month will send a powerful message to the country - especially after the Frawley family's determination to turn his tragic death into a situation that saves the lives of others.
Anita Frawley's statement tragically showed her husband made the mistake of believing he had defeated the mental health disease.
"On Monday, the love of my life was tragically taken from my girls and I," Anita Frawley wrote in a statement.
"Many have speculated on the cause and lead up to this tragedy. Danny, as a champion of mental health would want me to continue his legacy and be open with the public of the events leading up to this heartbreak.
"While the circumstances of the event are unconfirmed and will remain uncertain until the investigations are complete, it was true that Danny's mental health had deteriorated in recent weeks.
"As is widely known, Danny had experienced and lived with depression dating back a number of years. But to his credit, he had put up his hand and accepted psychiatric treatment, counselling and medication. He recovered and returned to being the Danny of old.
"The road leading up to last Monday's events began eight months ago when Danny made the decision 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.
"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.
"Our final memory of Danny is one we 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.
"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'."
Anita added a personal message to her husband, writing: "Danny, you were the love of my life and will continue to be until our paths cross again. Since Monday, there has been a gaping hole in our family which will never be repaired. The girls and I are finding it difficult to accept you are gone and our lives as we knew them will never be the same. We miss you. We will always miss you."