Dads' gruelling walk to raise suicide awareness after losing daughters
- Credit: Tim Owen
Three dads from across the country will be walking to raise awareness of suicide following the tragic loss of their daughters.
Tim Owen, from Shouldham, will be walking for suicide prevention charity Papyrus, alongside Mike Palmer, from Manchester, and Andy Airey, from Cumbria, for their daughters Emily, Beth and Sophie, who all took their own lives.
The three families are united in their efforts to raise awareness of suicide in young people, in order to help others avoid the "life-shattering trauma of losing a child to suicide."
Emily, 19, took her life in March 2020 after struggling to cope with life under lockdown, which culminated in years of struggles and a late diagnosis of autism, her dad said.
The teenager was taken into critical care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn but died five days later.
Mr Owen said the events have changed his and his family's "lives forever", from Emily’s funeral attended by six people, to the roads in Shouldham lined with hundreds of people from the village and beyond.
He added: "Emily just had no idea how many lives she touched and continues to impact.
"She was the life and soul of an event and our house.
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"As her dad I often watched her behind the bar of the village pub talking to the customers and bringing laughter and joy to those who she spoke to.
"She was an incredibly talented artist who just couldn’t see how brilliant she was."
He believes had Emily spoken to someone, her decision and his family's lives would be on "another path."
"Instead, she decided she could no longer go on, leaving behind a devastating ripple effect on her family and friends," he said.
Mr Palmer hopes they will put a spotlight on young mental health by telling Beth, Emily and Sophie’s stories.
For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice contact PAPYRUS HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039967 or email email@example.com