Prime Minister 'delighted' to meet Three Dads Walking to support their suicide prevention policy

The three dads have walked the length and breadth of the country to raise awareness of suicide and campaign for its prevention to be added to the school curriculum. Credit: PA Images

The prime minister has said he will be "delighted" to meet three dads who are fighting for suicide prevention to be included on the school curriculum.

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

Between September and October 2022, the trio walked more than 600 miles to raise awareness of young suicide and to urge the government to add suicide prevention to the school curriculum.

They won widespread support from the public and have gathered more than 157,000 signatures on their petition, prompting a debate in parliament.

After being given a date for the House of Commons debate, MP Dr Neil Hudson took to Prime Ministers Questions to urge the PM to meet the dads prior to the discussion on 13 March.

The Conservative MP for Penrith and The Border said: "Sadly suicide is the biggest killer of young people under 35 in the UK. My constituent Andy Airey, along with Tim Owen and Mike Palmer are the Three Dads Walking.

"Andy, Tim and Mike each tragically lost their precious daughters Sophie, Emily and Beth to suicide and have campaigned tirelessly through charity walking for suicide awareness and prevention to be included in the school curriculum

"I have been humbled to support them, including joining them on their UK walk as they came through Penrith with their petition which is due for parliamentary debate on 13 March and with my early day motion which has support from right across the House.

"Would the prime minister join me in paying tribute to the three dads and would he meet with me and the three dads to discuss suicide prevention and ultimately save young lives in the future?"

In the latest episode of From the North we ask should suicide prevention be taught in schools?

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak replied: "Of course I would pay tribute to Andy, Tim and Mike, especially for channelling their own personal tragedy into such positive action to prevent this happening to other families, that is inspiring and they deserve enormous credit.

"The government is taking action to improve the prevision of mental health services for young people in schools and colleges but I would be delighted to meet with him and Andy, Mike and Tim to discuss what more we can do."

Andy, and the 3 Dads Walking said: “We are delighted that Dr Neil Hudson MP was one of the first MP’s to support our call to make suicide prevention a compulsory part of the school curriculum and has chosen to ask this question in PMQ’s.

“Suicide is the biggest killer of under 35s in the UK we, as a society, need to talk openly about the subject so that we can equip our young people with the knowledge and understanding that will help them deal with challenges they may face.

“Getting suicide prevention onto the school curriculum is a step along the way.

“We look forward to hearing a response from the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Education.”

Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK, and the dads believe the subject should be being discussed in schools.

It is hoped the petition will mean suicide will spoken about in a safe and age-appropriate way.