South Cambs MP draws on tragic story of Meldreth suicide victim during House of Commons debate on mental health
PUBLISHED: 12:02 17 December 2015
The father of a Meldreth teen who tragically took his own life earlier this year has spoken of his gratitude to South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen after she spoke about his battles with mental illness during a House of Commons debate last week.
During the debate on mental health, the Conservative MP spoke about the moment she first read about the tragic death of talented school pupil Edward Mallen, when she received a letter from his father Steve after she had been elected as the constituency’s MP in May.
She said: “I was sitting on the grass on a Sunday reading through my casework.
“There were many of the usual items of correspondence on housing, planning and so on, and then a letter, and a moment I will never forget.
“It was from a constituent, Steve Mallen, telling me about the tragic suicide of his 18-year-old son—a brilliant, gifted young man who had achieved Grade 8 piano, straight A*s at A-level, and had a place reserved for him at Cambridge University.
“Ten months ago today, Edward Mallen took his own life in front of a train.”
Heidi went on to discuss what MPs in the chamber could do to make sure there are ‘no more Edwards.’
She went on to say how ‘prevention is far better than a cure’, adding: “Ask Steve Mallen, his family and the village of Meldreth, because they know.”
After the speech, Steve told the Crow: “It’s excellent news that the House of Commons dedicated an afternoon to this issue which there hasn’t been for many years.
“We are delighted that Heidi mentioned Edward and raised how important this issue is in our local community.”
Steve, who set up charitable foundation The MindEd Trust in memory of his son, has organised an international academic conference at Cambridge University to discuss a set of policy objectives for the education system.
The conference, which will include a whole host of experts in the field of mental health, including mental health campaigner Jonny Benjamin, and Minister of State for Community and Social Care Alistair Burt, will take place on Friday, March 18.
To find out more about the charity, search for The MindEdTrust on Facebook.