The Even Keel Foundation was established in memory of Michael Keel who died in June 2019 when he was just 43 years old.
Farmer, jockey, firefighter, Michael always did so much to invigorate the lives of so many. With his smiling persona and wonderful sense of humour, Michael was the last person anyone would expect to be battling so much inside. When news of his death broke it brought utter devastation but also sheer disbelief amongst his many family and friends.
Michael clearly wore his mask well and that is why The Even Keel foundation wants to break down the stigma and encourage men like Michael to feel okay about taking off their mask; to talk and open up more about their feelings. It’s not about saying men should be on an even keel; it’s about saying it’s okay not to be. It’s also about us all getting better at talking and listening to men who appear happy in life; not just those who don’t.
As a foundation our focus will be on raising awareness and preventing suicide in men, especially those in the horse racing, farming and fire service sectors as these were all hugely significant in Michael's life.
Depression can have many faces - even smiling ones - and with your help we believe we can really begin to make a difference. Our whole ethos is; if it helps just one...
Our vision is for a society where men speak openly about their feelings and one that has the right resources available to help men who might be having suicidal thoughts.
The HARD Facts
SUICIDE IS THE BIGGEST KILLER OF MEN UNDER 45.
THREE QUARTERS OF ALL SUICIDES ARE MALE.
Our mission is to reduce the number of male suicides in the UK by encouraging men to unmask their mental health and feel okay about talking through their feelings. We want us all to recognise that depression can have many faces and we want us all to feel okay about asking for help.
Michael wrote and sung this song a few years ago to highlight the ups and downs of jump racing. You can also find it on YouTube.