Ronan Keating discusses mental health struggles after losing bandmate Stephen Gately and his mother

·Contributor
·3-min read
Stephen Gately performs with Ronan Keating at the BBC Electric Proms in 2008. (PA/Getty)
Stephen Gately performs with Ronan Keating at the BBC Electric Proms in 2008. (PA/Getty)

Ronan Keating has opened up about the mental health struggles he experienced after losing his mother, and his Boyzone bandmate Stephen Gately.

The 44-year-old singer is an ambassador for bereavement charity StrongMen and told the Loose Women panel of his difficulties following the passing of his mum, Marie, in 1998.

Just a decade later, in 2009, Gately passed away suddenly due to an undetected heart condition at the age of 33.

Read more: Boyzone stayed with Stephen Gately's coffin night before funeral

Keating said: "Losing my mother at 21, and my best friend at 33 — Stephen Gately — I had to ask: 'Am I doing ok?' 

"The mind is a dark place and a scary place."

Watch: Prince Harry reveals he turned to drugs and alcohol amid grief

He added: "It's times like that you re-evaluate and ask yourself: 'Am I living the right way? Am I the best version of myself?'

"I have my doctor to talk to. It's important we're more comfortable to talk about it."

Read more: Keating wants to discuss music industry with Boris Johnson

StrongMen, which also counts presenter Jeff Brazier and footballer Troy Deeney as ambassadors, is a charity which "aims to support men following bereavement".

Their website states: "Grief can cause severe mental and physical health conditions which are often overlooked and even ignored, especially in men."

Ronan Keating has five children, including two with current wife Storm Keating. (David M. Benett/Getty Images)
Ronan Keating has five children, including two with current wife Storm Keating. (David M. Benett/Getty Images)

Keating said he "comes from a generation that believes men can't show their emotions", which he stated is a "ridiculous" approach which he is hoping to change with his own children.

"My eldest son is 22. He's a man. I've never been afraid to tell them I'm weak and made mistakes," the singer said. 

"I have a great relationship with the kids, I tell them I love them all the time."

Read more: Keating pays tribute to Gately on anniversary of his death

Keating added: "We are trying to encourage [men] to be more open, and how to deal with grief. One in three men find it hard to show their emotions.

"We need to be able to speak to each other, it all leads on mental health."

Ronan Keating spoke frankly about his struggles with mental health in the wake of several bereavements in his life. (Thomas M Jackson/Getty Images)
Ronan Keating spoke frankly about his struggles with mental health in the wake of several bereavements in his life. (Thomas M Jackson/Getty Images)

Keating has five children — three with first wife Yvonne Connolly and two with his current wife Storm Keating, whom he married in 2015.

He has appeared on Loose Women numerous times, including as part of the programme's first all-male panel in November 2020 to mark International Men's Day.

Read more: John Barrowman reveals he sought therapy during lockdown

Keating was joined on that show by Marvin Humes, Love Island voiceover man Iain Stirling and Capital FM presenter Roman Kemp.

Mental health was one of the main topics on the show's agenda, with viewers praising the panel for their frank and open discussion.

Watch: Tennis star Naomi Osaka discusses mental health issues

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