CUMBERLAND Council and the Integrated Care Board will continue vital suicide prevention work as key funding comes to an end.

The National NHS Transformation Funding, delivered through the North East Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network, has just ended in north Cumbria. 

Following figures, derived from the Office of National Statistics, that show that Barrow and Copeland place fifth and sixth for the highest suicide rate by district in England, that Cumbria has a 50 per cent higher suicide rate than the England average, and that Cumbria is in the top 10 local authority areas of years lost to death by suicide.

Read more: Cumbria has a 50 per cent higher suicide rate than England's average

However, both the new council and NHS North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board pledge to continue that support.

Kate O'Brien, Director of Transformation (Learning Disabilities, Autism and Mental Health) at NHS North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB), said:

"Losing someone to suicide is a devastating experience, and reducing the number of suicides is a key aim for our region. By 2030 we aim to halve the difference in the suicide rate between our areas and the England average.

"Suicide prevention is led by public health teams in local councils, in partnership with the NHS and other services as well as suicide survivors and people in high-risk groups.

"This is focused on a concerted local and regional programme to prevent suicide led by local councils, with strong support from the NHS, which leads on supporting people bereaved by suicide.

"Over the past three years, additional funding has enabled us to strengthen our region's preventive work by developing a real-time surveillance system and improve suicide prevention skills among local services and partners.

"This programme has now come to an end, so the councils, ICB and other partners have agreed to continue this vital work as part of our shared ambition to reduce suicides across the region between now and 2030."