‘Change Is Coming’ As Dr Neil Hudson MP And 3 Dads Walking Meet Education Secretary Gillian Keegan MP

MP for Penrith and The Border Dr Neil Hudson and national mental health campaigners, the 3 Dads Walking, met with Education Secretary Gillian Keegan to discuss embedding safe age-appropriate suicide awareness on the curriculum and getting more staff mental first aid trained in educational settings.

The Education Secretary reiterated her support for the 3 Dads before confirming suicide awareness will be an area of the ongoing review of the Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) curriculum.

3 Dads Walking with Gillian Keegan MP and Dr Neil Hudson MP

Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, said: “Today was an immense step forward in our campaign to get safe age-appropriate suicide awareness on school curricula and more mental first aid trained staff in educational settings.

“I must thank the Education Secretary for agreeing to make suicide-awareness a focus of the RSHE curriculum review. With her background as Mental Health Minister, she clearly understands the scope of the problem.

“Suicide is the biggest killer of Under-35s, so by making our young folk aware of the risks and giving them the tools to help themselves, we can take preventative action to stop mental health crises and ultimately save lives.

“I cannot praise the 3 Dads enough. Their dedication to securing a brighter future for our young folk is incredible and it has been an immense privilege to work alongside them.

“Change is coming.”

Dr Hudson is himself is mental first aid trained and suicide prevention trained and pushed to help more educational staff undergo similar training.

The next stage will be a roundtable with experts in youth mental health and education to gather evidence so Government can make informed proactive decisions.

The review will be complete before the end of 2023.

The events follow an important meeting Dr Hudson secured for the 3 Dads with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The meeting with Gillian Keegan meeting represents another huge step in the right direction with the highest Government officials committed to working towards better protecting our young people from the tragedy of suicide.

Member of 3 Dads Walking and Penrith and The Border constituent, Andy Airey, added: “Well, the fact we were in there for an hour when we were only supposed to be sitting with her for 30 minutes spoke volumes, I thought.

“And also, we’ve been invited to carry on talking [at the roundtable], so we will keep going.”

The 3 Dads Walking are Andy Airey, Tim Owen and Mike Palmer who raised over £1 million for mental health charities in memory of their daughters Emily, Beth and Sophie – who all lost their lives to suicide.

Most recently they walked more than 300 miles between the UK’s four parliaments to raise awareness for their cause. Andy Airey is a constituent of Dr Hudson’s.

Dr Neil Hudson is a passionate mental health campaigner himself and entered politics after witnessing the trauma the 2001 Foot and Mouth Crisis subjected rural communities to, and the need for mental health support in rural communities

Dr Hudson has shone a light on the 3 Dads and brought their cause to Westminster. After walking with the trio in Penrith and The Border, he tabled a successful parliamentary motion which received great support from MPs across the political spectrum and gave a powerful speech in support of the 3 Dads in a debate on suicide prevention.