‘The Evidence Is Clear That There Is A Crisis Among Our Young People, And We Need To Take Action’ Says Penrith and The Border MP In Suicide Prevention Debate

Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and the Border, spoke out in a special parliamentary debate in support of suicide awareness being taught in schools in a safe age-appropriate manner.  

The debate was triggered by the petition of Andy Airey, Tim Owen and Mike Palmer, the 3 Dads Walking, that garnered more than 160,000 signatures.

The three fathers tragically each lost their precious daughters Sophie (Andy’s daughter), Emily (Tim’s daughter) and Beth (Mike’s daughter) to suicide.

Andy is a constituent of Dr Hudson’s.

Speaking afterwards, Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, said: “It was an incredible privilege to take part in this momentous debate, joining MPs from across the political spectrum to champion such a caring evidence-based policy that will help save young people from the tragedy of suicide.

“Now is time to push forward and throw all our parliamentary weight behind the 3 Dads and their incredibly selfless and tireless campaigning.

“My next stop is to discuss the issues with the Prime Minister at Number 10 after I managed to secure a meeting with Rishi Sunak and the 3 Dads.

“Thank you to everyone who signed the petition and made this debate a possibility – Penrith and The Border had the second highest number of supporters of any UK constituency, and I know just how much feeling there is locally.”

Dr Hudson has been a great champion of the 3 Dads; tabling a successful early-day motion in support of their work signed by 41 MPs from across the House, joining them for the Penrith leg of their walk and securing a commitment for a meeting with them and the Prime Minister to discuss embedding age-appropriate suicide awareness on school curricula and getting more mental first aid training in educational settings.

With the 3 Dads in attendance, Dr Hudson started his speech by paying tribute to their tireless, selfless campaigning which has bravely turned personal tragedy into positive change.  

Dr Hudson explained to the room that the 3 Dads’ campaign has highlighted just how immense the challenge of young suicide is.

The biggest killer of under-35s in the UK, more than five young people take their lives each day, some at primary age.

Dr Hudson also spoke about his personal experiences of mental health care in educational settings. and spoke about using his mental first aid training and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training.

Dr Hudson has been passionately campaigning on mental health consistently since his election to Parliament, having pushed for the need for parity of esteem between mental and physical health since his very first speech in the Commons.

Moreover, Dr Hudson triggered an official parliamentary Inquiry into Rural Mental Health as part of his Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee role, which will be published soon.

The full debate can be watched here.