Published On: Fri, Jun 11th, 2021

Ronan Keating discusses impact the death of his mother and Stephen Gately had on his mental health

‘The mind is a dark and scary place’: Ronan Keating frankly discusses the impact the death of his mother and ‘best friend’ Stephen Gately had on his mental health

Ronan Keating has spoken candidly about how the death of his mother and his ‘best friend’ Stephen Gately affected his mental health.

During an appearance on Friday’s Loose Women, 44-year-old Ronan – who is an ambassador for bereavement charity StrongMen – 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.’

Ronan’s mother Marie died of cancer at the age of 51 in 1998 while Boyzone star Stephen died aged 33 in 2009 due to an undetected heart condition.

Candid: Ronan Keating, 44, spoke candidly about how the death of his mother and his ‘best friend’ Stephen Gately affected his mental health on Loose Women on Friday

In response to host Stacey Solomon – who asked: ‘What made you think more about your mental health in particular?’ – Ronan continued: ‘It’s times like that you re-evaluate and ask yourself: “Am I living the right way? Am I the best version of myself?”’

He added: ‘I have my doctor to talk to, it’s important we’re more comfortable to talk about it.’

Touching upon his role with StrongMen, doting father Ronan told the panel: ‘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.’

The hit-maker added: ‘We need to be able to speak to each other, it all leads on mental health.’ 

Tragic: Boyzone star Stephen Gately died aged 33 in 2009 due to an undetected heart condition (Ronan and Stephen pictured together that year)

Tragic: Boyzone star Stephen Gately died aged 33 in 2009 due to an undetected heart condition (Ronan and Stephen pictured together that year)

Sad: Ronan's mother Marie died of cancer at the age of 51 in 1998

Sad: Ronan’s mother Marie died of cancer at the age of 51 in 1998

The Life Is A Rollercoaster singer also told the panel that he has encouraged his children to feel comfortable speaking openly and honestly about their own mental health.

He said: ‘My eldest son is 22. He’s a man. I’ve never been afraid to tell them I’m weak and made mistakes. I have a great relationship with the kids, I tell them I love them all the time.’    

Presenter Nadia Sawalha then said: ‘It’s easier for women to talk, men don’t have the same friendships.’

Honest and open: The Life Is A Rollercoaster singer also told the panel that he has encouraged children to feel comfortable speaking openly and honestly about their own mental health

Honest and open: The Life Is A Rollercoaster singer also told the panel that he has encouraged children to feel comfortable speaking openly and honestly about their own mental health

Ronan responded: ‘We come from a generation that believes men can’t show their emotions and it’s ridiculous.’  

Ronan is father to five children.   

He shares daughter Coco, one, and son Cooper, three, with his wife Storm, 39.

Family complete: Ronan and Storm, 39, are pictured with baby girl Coco and son Cooper

Family complete: Ronan and Storm, 39, are pictured with baby girl Coco and son Cooper

Ronan shares three other children with ex-wife Yvonne Connolly: daughters Missy, 19, and Ali, 15, and son Jack, 22.

The star revealed in December that he intends to get a vasectomy, saying it was ‘time for the snip’.   

Ronan said Storm had been the instigator of the conversation, saying: ‘It’s a funny conversation because I was going about my day and Storm said ”I think it’s probably about time you got the snip now” and I was like ”what?!”

‘Storm said ”it’s time” and I said, ”hmm I guess it is, yeah sure”.’

He added: ‘You know, five beautiful healthy children, I think it is time, I do.’

Ex wife: Ronan shares Jack, Missy and Ali with ex-wife Ali, who he split from in 2012 (pictured 2011)

Ex wife: Ronan shares Jack, Missy and Ali with ex-wife Ali, who he split from in 2012 (pictured 2011)

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