THE past fortnight has seen the untimely deaths of two men from the show business industry. Two men completely unconnected from each other, from different generations, with different family set ups and different talents.

What tragically connects them is they both ended their own lives in the same way this month, bringing the issue of mental health and male suicide rushing back into sharp focus.

Keith Flint, charismatic frontman of dance act The Prodigy, was found hanged in his home on March 4 and Mike Thalissitis, footballer turned reality TV star, hanged himself in woodland in North London just last weekend.

Keith was 49 and Mike only 26. A huge fan of The Prodigy since they burst on to the scene in the early Nineties, I was utterly heartbroken to hear of Keith’s passing.

When someone in the public eye dies, it can be hard to reconcile your feelings as, although you did not know them personally, you can still feel the loss if they played a part in your life somehow.

For me it was all about my love of dance music and the fact The Prodigy were, and still are, such trailblazers of their genre.

I have seen them live countless times over the years and was always blown away by Keith’s stage presence.

In the early days I was even lucky enough to meet the band and remember sitting in a dressing room backstage, absolutely dumbstruck when Keith asked if he could have one of my cigarettes.

I did manage to pass him the packet but the rest is a bit of a blur.

The fact I had breathed the same, albeit smoke-filled, air with him, Liam and the rest of the guys was something of a dream come true for me.

Mike Thalissitis found fame as a contestant on Love Island in 2017 and subsequently appeared on Celebs Go Dating last year.

I have confessed here before Love Island is one of my ultimate guilty pleasures.

The series featuring Mike was my first experience of the sun-drenched show aimed at pairing up stunning, bikini clad women, with similarly stunning trunk-wearing men.

It is the kind of show you can either take with a pinch of salt as light-hearted escapism, or you might perceive it as a programme that promotes and masquerades the idea of body perfection. The nightly parading of body beautifuls on our television screens throughout the summer could be partly responsible for making those lacking in self-confidence feel inadequate about their own body shape and image.

Mike was a classic Love Island participant with his swarthy looks and carved-from-marble six-pack. It was clear to see he had spent several hours a day for months on end, working hard in the gym before the series started, striving for the look so frequently portrayed in the media as highly desirable.

From where we sit on our sofas at home, glued to our tellies, scrolling through Instagram, celebrities like Mike appear to be having the time of their lives, enjoying all the benefits of their moment in the limelight.

Of course this is not always the case as we are becoming painfully aware, particularly since the loss of legendary stars like Robin Williams, so witty and charming on screen, yet clearly so haunted and dogged by negative thoughts in reality.

Whatever the public persona of these celebrities, behind closed doors they were battling a depression so overwhelming, they simply did not have the will to continue with their lives.

Neither did they speak to their nearest and dearest about the depth of their illnesses and how close to the edge they were. So close in fact, there was no turning back. This is the part that terrifies me the most when it comes to those I love.

I cannot even bear to imagine someone I am close to feeling so utterly helpless they cannot bring themselves to open up to me or another loved one. Rightly or wrongly, I am now probably more aware of the mental wellbeing of the men in my life, than the women.

The facts speak for themselves as data collected by The Samaritans in their annual report shows men in the UK are three times more likely to commit suicide than women.

Is it the case that many men still do not feel able to talk freely about their feelings, to show fear or anxiety or to admit they are struggling? As the mother of a young boy I want him to always feel comfortable with his emotions, to see his dad cry and to know it is OK to ask for help. It has never been more important to bring mental health to the forefront and continue to break down the stigma still surrounding it.