Lance Franklin’s fiancee, model and television presenter Jesinta Campbell, has for the first time addressed her husband-to-be’s struggles with mental health in a heartfelt Instagram post.
The public were notified of the Swans player’s battle with a “serious but treatable” mental health condition on Tuesday, when it was announced he would not be playing in Saturday’s qualifying final against Fremantle at Domain Stadium.
In a post to her 277,000 followers on Thursday, Campbell said she and Franklin had been enduring “an extremely challenging time”.
“I would like to thank everyone for the support both ‘Bud’ and I have received over the past few days,” Campbell captioned a photo of a quote about fighters.
“This is an extremely challenging time for us and has been for some time now, however it has been made easier by the love, understanding and support we have been given.
“Thinking of the many others who also live with this everyday and are not as fortunate to have the support we do.
“I am incredibly proud of Bud’s strength and courage, this has not been an easy journey. I am thankful for the support of the Sydney Swans, both of our families, friends and Sharon.
“We are not alone in this. My heart is with my man. The only thing I ask is that everyone respect our privacy at this time.”
Campbell’s post coincides with R U OK Day, a national occasion to raise awareness for mental health and promote open discussions amongst family, friends and colleagues.
Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.