Today I celebrate my third Father's Day as a father. For me it is a day not just to celebrate how fortunate I am for my young family, but to reflect on just how much I've learned about fatherhood and the issues facing fathers in all walks of life. In particular, it is a time to reflect on my responsibility to look after not just the physical health of my two children, but to treat their mental needs as just as important a priority... On this Father's Day, I encourage all fathers to take a moment to ask their children how they are doing. Take the opportunity to discuss how you are coping with life and fatherhood with your wife, partner or with your friends. And know that if your son or daughter ever needs help, they need their father's guidance and support just as much as they need their mother's.
I have to admit that at first I worried that technology companies might not be doing enough on this issue. But as I looked into this more, I realised that technology was also doing something positive. It was bringing the quiet and often hidden tragedy of bullying into the open where we could finally see it. To school-age children today, there is no difference between their online and offline lives. Bullying is bullying, wherever it happens... Digital technology is creating new opportunities for positive and encouraging stories to be shared and to let vulnerable people know that they are not alone.
Nationally, despite the devastation caused by every suicide - to the friends, family, colleagues and all those working 'at the coalface', the topic has yet to make it as a central public issue. Which it should be. With an average of 12 men a day, according to published figures, male suicide costs the country £20million PER DAY. A cost which excludes suicide attempts.