THE wife of Danny Frawley has made an impassioned plea to those living with mental ill health to always continue to fight, even if you think you are cured.
Anita Frawley said she was speaking out as a way to continue the conversation in the wake of her husband's death in a road accident on September 9.
GALLERY: Danny Frawley in Ballarat
MENTAL ILL HEALTH: A defining moment in mental health
Mrs Frawley said 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," Mrs Frawley said.
"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 8 months ago when Danny made the decision to take himself off his prescribed medication."
Mrs Frawley said "a bullet proof" Danny had removed himself from his psychiatric care and had stopped working with his team of mental health professionals.
"At this point Danny felt invincible, like the true competitor and proud man that he was; he felt that he had beaten the disease," she said.
"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 well-being.
"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."
Mrs Frawley's comments, less than 48 hours from her husband's funeral, have been supported by the Clinical Director Mental Health Drugs and Alcohol Service at Barwon Health Steve Moylan.
Dr Moylan said mental health conditions are generally described as "longer standing, which needed to be managed over a life course".
"These conditions are not something that can be fixed quickly," Dr Moylan said.
"The take time, planning, good relationships and a good care provider are all important.
"The best advice is if you have a treatment plan that's working and if you want to change that, go back and have a good conversation about changing that.
"If there are signs things are not going really well then have a plan in place in what you will do then. Get your community involved, they may see the warning signs even before you."
Dr Moylan said he could understand that people concerned about others sometimes failed to speak up.
"I can understand why people are reluctant to do that, but asking someone if they are not well doesn't make them unwell," he said.
"It's about respectful communication, you don't have to press the point, but even through the process it shows you care. It makes it easier for them to say, `actually yeah, I'm not well'."
Ellen Jackson from the Ballarat-based Potential Psychology said well-being was an ongoing process.
"I'd really encourage everyone, particularly men, to understand what the preventative factors are," she said
"How do we make sure we are looking after what can be the cause such as a lack of exercise, sleep, social connections, stress levels.
"When times get tough, we still need our GPs, psychologists and psychiatrists. Having the opportunity to talk things through with people is enormously helpful.
Mrs Frawley said she would never forget the final night the family spent together on Danny 56th birthday
"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," she said.
A celebration to honour the life of Danny Frawley will be held at Moorabbin Oval, Linton Street, Moorabbin on Wednesday from 3pm.
Members of the public are invited to attend where there will be a live stream of the private funeral service. There will also be a lap of honour at the oval at 5pm following the funeral service.
In lieu of flowers, the family request donations to beyondblue. Envelopes will be available on the day or online at beyondblue.org.au
Lifeline 13 11 14, Mensline Australia 1300 789 978.
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