3 Dads Walking reach petition target to trigger debate to add suicide prevention to curriculum

The 3 dads have just finished a 600 mile walk aiming to raise awareness of getting suicide prevention onto the school curriculum. Credit: ITV News

A petition launched by the 3 Dads walking group to get suicide prevention added to the school curriculum has reached its 100,000 signature target.

Andy Airey from Cumbria, Mike Palmer from Greater Manchester and Tim Owen from Norfolk came together after their daughters took their own lives.

They have just finished a 600-mile walk across the UK to each of the devolved parliaments raising awareness of suicide, and hoping to get the topic spoken about in schools in a safe and age-appropriate way.

The total signatures on the online petition means the government will consider the issue for debate in parliament.

Alongside the petition the dads are also raising money for suicide prevention charity Papyrus, so far gathering more than £982,000 of their £1 million target, all in their daughter's, Sophie, Beth, and Emily's, memory.

The dad's walk began in Belfast in September, where they walked to the Northern Ireland assembly at Stormont.

They then took a flight to Edinburgh, where they continued their walk from the Scottish parliament at Holyrood.

From there they walked down the country, through the North West to the Welsh Assembly at the Senedd, before walking across to Westminster in London.

It is the dad's second walking challenge, after the trio raised almost £1 million in 2021 walking between their three homes.

Mike says the trio were "absolutely overwhelmed" by the reaction to their first walk, having set themselves a modest target to raise around £10,000.

They eventually earned nearly £900,000 in sponsorship, thanks in part to donations from the likes of film stars Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, and hope their next challenge will take them past the £1 million milestone.

Worried about mental health?

CALM

CALM, or the Campaign Against Living Miserably, runs a free and confidential helpline and webchat – open from 5pm to midnight every day, for anyone who needs to talk about life’s problems.

It also supports those bereaved by suicide, through the Support After Suicide Partnership (SASP).

  • Phone their helpline: 0800 585858 (Daily, 5pm to midnight)

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James’ Place

Suicide prevention centre in Liverpool offering life-saving support to men in suicidal crisis.

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Mind

Mind is a mental health charity which promotes the views and needs of people with mental health issues.

It provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem, and campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

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PAPYRUS

For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice you can contact PAPYRUS HOPELINE247 on 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039967 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org

Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK. PAPYRUS aims to reduce the number of young people who take their own lives by breaking down the stigma around suicide and equipping people with the skills to recognise and respond to suicidal behaviour.

HOPELINE247 is the charity’s confidential 24 hour helpline service providing practical advice and support to young people with thoughts of suicide and anyone concerned about a young person who may have thoughts of suicide.

HOPELINE247 is staffed by trained professionals, offering a telephone, text and email service.

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Samaritans

Samaritans is an organisation offering confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

  • Phone 116 123 (a free 24 hour helpline)

  • Email: jo@samaritans.org

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YoungMinds

YoungMinds is a resource with information on child and adolescent mental health, but also offers services for parents and professionals.

It is the UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people's mental health, and wants to make sure all young people can get the mental health support they need, when they need it

  • YoungMinds Textline - Text YM to 85258

  • Phone Parents' helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am - 4pm)

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