Joy for 3 Dads after Parliament agrees to debate suicide among young people
- Three Dads Walking raise money for Papyrus Prevention of Young Suicide in memory of their beloved daughters
- They have been raising awareness in parliament and are awaiting a decision for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to change the school curriculum for more suicide prevention awareness
Three dads walking in memory of their daughters to raise £1m for Papyrus Prevention of Young Suicide received a boost from Parliament this week.
Michael Palmer, Andrew Airey, and Tim Owen have been travelling across the UK to create an important and impactful message for people who have lost a loved one to suicide.
Mike, Andy, and Tim have been speaking openly about their own devastating stories, each tragically losing their precious daughters Beth, Sophie, and Emily to suicide.
On Monday (13 March) their petition calling for suicide prevention to be made a compulsory part of the school’s curriculum was debated in parliament and we are waiting for the outcome.
In January, Nick Fletcher MP Chair of the Petitions Committee confirmed there would be a debate in parliament.
Their constituency MP, Neil Hudson honoured their work by raising awareness in parliament last month, directly with the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at PMQs to secure a meeting with the PM.
The three bereaved fathers have gained a huge following through their social media presence during their charity walks over the past few years.
In 2021, the three dads walked 300 miles (484km) in memory of their daughters and in 2022 walked 600miles (965km) between all four UK parliament buildings, calling out for parliament members for support.
Through their incredible efforts they received a special recognition award at the Pride of Britain last year. Andy said: “The government spends £40 million a year on the prevent programme, which is risk, but it is not the biggest risk.
“If we can spend £40m on prevent, surely, we can mention suicide in the school curriculum.”
To date they have received 11.6k followers on Instagram, 14.3k followers on Twitter and a huge 33,610 supporters for their Papyrus fundraising- raising £998,146.
They received over 150,000 signatures for their petition to equip our young people with lifesaving knowledge and understanding- which will help save lives, 50,000 more than needed for the issue to be debated in parliament.
Speaking about his journey, Mike said: “It has been highly emotional.
“I have been in the depths of despair, but fate brought Tiny, Andy and myself together and our belief that this is the right thing to do gives us a focus to carry on each day.”
Their charity walks have provided a focus to continue the conversation with Government and everyone supports the movement of love they have created through their personal tragedies.
Papyrus is the national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide with trained advisers and hotlines to provide confidential support for struggling youths with thoughts of suicide and anyone who is worried about a young person.
Suicide is the biggest killer of under 35s in the UK which Is around 200 school children each year and as stated on their website the dads: “Only learned this terrifying fact because our daughters took their own lives within the last three years”.
A busy morning to end our visit to Westminster— 3DadsWalking (@3dadswalking) March 14, 2023
On @BBCBreakfast with @alisonjfreeman to give reactions to yesterday's debate on our petition before appearing with @MattChorley on @TimesRadio with @NickFletcherMP
The more who hear our message of hope the more lives will be saved pic.twitter.com/TTWFhkRc8Z
Teachers and school staff can recognise signs that a student is struggling because children spend most of their waking hours at school.
However, there is little guidance for schools to prevent suicide and are threatened that they make things worse talking to pupils.
An investigated survey by PAPYRUS, found one in ten teachers has a student share suicidal thoughts with them however lack the support and training in the sector.
This petition is a chance for young people to receive real, trained support and a chance for families to feel comfort in hearing other stories like their own.
Mike said: “We will never know how many people we have helped.
“It is too late for our beloved daughters, but having the belief that so may other families do not have to go through our agony drives us on.”
NQ will be following progress over the next few weeks to see the outcome of the 3 dads petition and watch them reach their target fundraising goal of £1m.