North West MP calls on Government to include suicide prevention on school curriculum
A North West MP has added his weight to growing calls for the Government to embed age-appropriate suicide awareness into the school curriculum.
It follows a high-profile campaign by three suicide-bereaved fathers, better known as 3 Dads Walking, who have been taking part in a charity walk across the UK in a bid to change Government policy.
The Dads, including Mike Palmer from Sale in Greater Manchester, have been walking to each of the UK's devolved parliaments to highlight their campaign to get suicide prevention spoken about in class and to expand mental health first aid training for staff in educational settings.
Rochdale MP, Tony Lloyd, is one of 27 cross-party MPs in signing a Parliamentary motion in demanding action now. Tony said: "More than 200 school-aged children are taking their own lives each year.
"That is a shocking figure, and we should all be shocked that suicide is a major killer of young people.
"That's why I am calling on the government to embed age-appropriate suicide awareness and prevention in the school curriculum to engage with schools to allow this to happen, and to expand mental health first aid training for staff in educational settings."Research shows that, with appropriate early intervention and support, suicide can be prevented."
The motion also commends the Three Dads Walking campaign set up by Andy Airey, Tim Owen, and Mike Palmer, who with their UK walk are raising awareness of young suicide and boosting funds for the suicide-prevention charity Papyrus, following the tragic losses of their daughters, Sophie, Emily and Beth to suicide.
The full text of the motion and the list of which other MPs have signed can be found here.
The 3 Dads Walking are due to finish their charity walk on 10 October at Westminster.
They began their campaign a month ago, walking to Stormont in Belfast, before continuing their trek across the UK from Edinburgh's Holyrood House.
They reached the Senedd in Cardiff on 1 October as part of their 600 mile walk, which has seen many people join them along the route, including those who have been personally affected by suicide.
At the end of September their online petition reached more than 10,000 signatures, and it currently stands at over 21,000.
The dad's are hoping to get 100,000 signatures to enable the subject to be debated in Parliament.