Cllr Sue Whittam-2

Campaign to raise awareness of suicide in young people is commended

The work of a group of dads who raise awareness of suicide in young people has been commended by Lancashire County Council.

3 Dads Walking is a campaign group set up by fathers Tim, Andy and Mike, who lost their daughters, Emily, Sophie, and Beth, to suicide. To highlight that suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK, they walked between the parliaments of the four nations.

A Notice of Motion was unanimously voted through at the latest full council, when members also asked chief executive, Angie Ridgwell, to write to the Secretary of State to ask for suicide awareness in schools to be included in the next review of the schools' curriculum.

The successful motion was brought by Cllr Sue Whittam, lead member for Health, who said: "Suicide in young people is a vitally important topic. We must be doing everything that we can to help to improve young people's mental health. 

"Following the pandemic, I was shocked to hear how many young people have suffered from increased anxiety and depression. From my own experience, many people are connected to a young person who has struggled in recent years.

"There is no shame in asking for help and we need to take the taboo out of the subject and help those who are most in need.

"I was amazed by the strength of the 3 Dads Walking. I would love to support the vital work that they do and to help raise awareness of their campaign."

The motion also asks the cabinet members for education and health to continue the promotion of resources in Lancashire's schools and to take part in a national consultation on the curriculum.

County Councillor Jayne Rear, cabinet member for Education and Skills, said: "We already provide lots of support to our schools, including links to government initiatives that provide support and training to our school workforce, access to 24 hour mental health support and crisis help.

"We also employ two members of staff as Children's Champions to support our most vulnerable children and work with them, their parents and schools  to ensure the best outcome for their education and wellbeing.

"Our virtual school team provide 'trauma informed training' to all our schools and colleges and local partners .

"As well as providing additional investment, we also partner with local partners to develop and implement a whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing. This includes campaigns and social media messaging, a range of mental health and suicide awareness and prevention training, a focus on early intervention and regular reviews of policy to ensure we are always working with the most recent advice."

Cllr Michael Green, cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, said: "This is very important work and it is good to see this subject being debated in an open forum.

"By backing the work of the 3 Dads Walking and asking our chief executive to write to the Secretary of State, we are showing how serious we are at working towards ensuring Lancashire's children enjoy better mental health. 

"As part of our commitment to make a real difference, over the last six months we have invested over £900k in additional funding to establish two additional Mental Health Support Teams.  This investment from Lancashire County Council will boost existing NHS investment in these teams, which work with schools and colleges to provide targeted support and advice to young people.

"We have also invested this year in additional support for young people to be able to access online counselling and a wide range of resources to help them with mental health challenges which they may experience."

Notes to editors

Notes to Editors: 

To find out more about the 3 Dads Walking, go to

To watch the debate as it unfolded at full council or to find out more, go to Our Council - Agenda for Full Council on Thursday, 23rd February, 2023, 2.00 pm