Three dads united by suicide urge Prime Minister for more support for young people

Tim Owen, Mike Palmer, and Andy Airey walked 300-miles for suicide prevention. Credit: Twitter

Three dads united by their daughters' deaths have written to the Prime Minister asking for lessons on positive mental health and suicide prevention to be taught in schools.

Tim Owen, Mike Palmer, and Andy Airey took on the challenge of walking 300-miles to raise awareness and funds for charity PAPYRUS.

It was all in memory of Emily Owen, 18, and Beth Palmer, 17, who both died in March 2020, and Sophie Airey, 29, who died just before Christmas in 2018.

(From left) Beth, Sophie and Amy all took their own lives.

The fathers, called 3DadsWalking, have written to Boris Johnson about the journey they have undertaken, and the many other suicide-bereaved parents they met along the way.

As suicide is the biggest killer of under 35s in the UK, they believe having mental health based topics in schools would "cost the government nothing but it would have an immediate impact on young suicides."

They said: "Imagine if all young people had been introduced to possible mental health issues, discussed suicide prevention and were made aware of HOPELINEUK...we know the direct link between suicide awareness and people reaching out for help. Doing this would save lives."

The full letter reads:

3DadsWalking set out to raise £3,000 each for the charity PAPYRUS (Prevention of Young Suicide), but that target now exceeds more than half a million pounds.

They have also had support from celebrities too, including Nicole Kidman, former footballer and manager Lou Macari, and Daniel Craig, who each donated £10,000.

Credit: Papyrus

Who to contact if you or someone you know needs help:

  • Samaritans operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year, by calling 116 123. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at

  • Papyrus offer support for children and young people under the age of 35 over the phone on 0800 068 41 41 between 9am – midnight every day of the year. If you would rather text you can do so on 07786 209697 or send an email to

  • Mind also offer mental health support between 9am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. You can call them on 0300 123 3393 or text them on 86463. There is also lots of information available on their website.