5 years later

Create4mentalhealth wasn’t started 5 years ago,
But it was 5 years ago this week that i lost my closest friend Keith Clarke. To be fair, he was a bit of an idiot, but he was always funny, daft, charismatic, and kind. He also struggled quite a lot and i guess thats where our story really starts.

Keith Clarke 1979 – 2017

This is Keith …. i think this sums him up rather well. Full of life, fun and a little idiocy. I made this for his funeral … I wanted his family to know he was dearly loved by all his friends. Keith loved movies and always wanted to be help me with filming work. Sadly he never got to see the film he was in, I hope he would have liked it.

Keith was that guy you meet once and thats it … you’re friends. He knew everyone, and everyone knew him. We had our place at the bar, but no one was ever excluded. Its what i liked about him i guess, everyone was welcome. People came and people went, but Keith was a constant in all our lives.

Keith Clarke’s plaque

I always tried to be a good friend to Keith, be there for him, but sometimes i got it wrong, I would get impatient and a little frustrated. Get cross when he didn’t turn up to things he had promised too, be too busy to send him a message or call him up to ask if he fancied a beer.

I just didn’t get that he was struggling, didn’t really know it was a thing. And like most of us, he kept his problems to himself.

He was convinced … (again i know how this feels) that he had no friends, and no one wanted to know him. Nothing could be further from the truth. If only he could have seen the crowds at his funeral … the church was full, every seat taken, and the rest stood in the aisle, and filled the back of the church. I think we all had the same thought, i hope Keith is watching.

We planted a tree next to our local … meet up on his birthday and anniversary to toast him.

Keith Clarke’s tree

But i wanted to do more, I couldn’t shake the thought that there must be thousands of people like me and Keith. Not really understanding what the matter with us with us.
Not knowing that it doesn’t have to be like this, there are things we can do to make us feel better as well as loads of support available if we need something more.

So create4mentalhealth was born. we have created something good in the world thanks to our dear and greatly missed friend. This sounds like a cliche … but there is not a day goes by i don’t think of you, and wonder what you and i would be doing if you were still with us.

So if you are feeling a bit rubbish, or you know someone who is finding things tough right now send a message, it all starts with a message. We all need to know that we have friends around us who care, share a little hope today.

Keith, Happy Anniversary mate.
Our lives will never be the same without you.