Mitch Winehouse thought he was ''actually going insane,'' when first confronted with the death of his daughter, Amy.

The 'Back to Black' singer died of accidental alcohol poisoning last July, and her father only found out when he landed from a flight to New York. He immediately returned home and said he was in complete shock throughout.

He told The Guardian newspaper: ''Coming back on the plane, it was awful. It was dreadful. I had my manager Trenton with me, and Amy's manager Raye. They were very upset, but I was.... I was OK.

''Although I was OK coming on the flight from America, I thought to myself, I'm actually going insane. I'm actually losing my mind. I could feel myself slipping away.''

Mitch - who looked after his daughter full time, and had helped steer her away from drug addiction - has since set up The Amy Winehouse Foundation to raise money to help struggling young people, and says it has given him the drive and focus to carry on.

He said: ''It's saved my life. Nobody should know what it feels like to lose a child. I lost my dad when I was 16; he was 43. We were very close. But losing a parent is not like losing a child. It's worse than awful. But the more I spoke to people about the charity, about helping people, especially people Amy would have wanted to help, it became my lifeline, so to speak.''

Beneficiaries of the charity will include children's hospices, a source close to Amy's heart.

Mitch added: ''Amy would love that. She loved babies. She didn't know she was going to die, obviously, so she didn't leave a list of people she wanted to help, so we have to second-guess.''

Mitch has written a book, 'Amy, My Daughter', all proceeds from which will go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation.