[L – R] Mike Palmer, Ged Flynn, Humza Yousaf, Tim Owen, Andy Airey
This press release was issued by PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide on 19 April 2024

Scotland’s First Minister said he was “deeply moved” during an emotional meeting with three fathers who have each lost a daughter to suicide.

Humza Yousaf spoke privately with the 3 Dads Walking who are on their third national trek to raise awareness of the national charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide.

Afterwards the fathers, Andy Airey, Mike Palmer and Tim Owen, described their conversation as encouraging.

“Our meeting with the First Minister was very warm and positive, he spoke to us as a dad first before we talked about what we had learned.

“He agreed with us that the only way to prevent future suicides is to talk about suicide and suicide prevention. Hopefully our conversation will encourage the Scottish government to move towards making suicide prevention lessons a compulsory part of the school curriculum,” said Andy Airey from Cumbria.

Ged Flynn, Chief Executive of PAPYRUS, said: “It was very moving to see the First Minister listening to the three dads about their children and to hear him share something of his own experience, his own mental health and the importance of self-care and help-seeking.

“I commended the government for the national suicide prevention work that is happening across Scotland.”

The First Minister said he was pleased that PAPYRUS now has hubs in Glasgow and Stirling, with Aberdeen next.

“PAPYRUS is a national charity working at local level, where we want to bring parents, other caregivers, children and young people into conversations that keep them safe and give them hope.

“We want to help them to enjoy life when it’s difficult to find a way,” added Mr Flynn.

Earlier this week the 3 Dads Walking began a 500-mile trek from the PAPYRUS hub in Sterling. They are heading south through the Scottish Borders and down the eastern counties of England, visiting the charity’s new offices in Newcastle and Leeds before ending their trek in Norwich.

Ends.

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 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.

For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice please contact PAPYRUS HOPELINE247 on 0800 068 4141, text 88247 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org

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