SUICIDE prevention and first aid is set to be rolled out at many of Barrow's biggest employers after The Mail’s ‘Time to Talk’ campaign urged health bosses to take action.

Time to Talk was launched after five young Furness men were believed to have taken their own lives in the first few months of 2019.

The campaign demanded health bosses take urgent action as well as encouraging the community to breakdown stigmas associated with mental health and seek help.

Today bosses at Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group exclusively revealed their Suicide Safer Barrow plan as a direct result of The Mail's campaign.

Families and campaigners affected by suicide hail new action plan

As well as help people understand when someone is at risk of suicide, the new iniative will see suicide prevention training delivered to organisations who choose sign up, as well as bereavement support and suicide first aid.

The initiative, delivered by Every Life Matters and Mind in Furness, comes after it was revealed that 497 people within the Morecambe Bay area took their own lives between 2015 and 2017.

The region has the third highest rate of suicide in England.

More men in mental health crisis coming forward for help

Juliet Gray, training manger and co-founder of Every Life Matters, said: “Suicide needs to be addressed across all areas of our society.

“It’s important to understand that around three quarters of people who die by suicide are not in contact with any mental health services in the year leading up to their death This means suicide prevention needs to be a community wide concern. It needs to be everyone’s business.”

As part of Suicide Safer Barrow, Every Life Matters will take their training workshops to any organisations who sign up.

The list of businesses who have already signed up has yet to be revealed but it is expected to include all major Barrow employers.

Battling poor mental health at 'Beat the Stigma' boxing class

The initiative which is supported by Barrow and Millom Integrated Care Community (ICC), also aims to raise awareness of suicide in the local community, help people understand when someone is at risk of suicide, how to support them and to raise awareness of the range of support and services locally and nationally that can support someone in crisis.

Maxine Baron, development lead for Barrow ICC said: “This work is important for our community as it’s about making everyone more aware about suicide.

“Losing someone to suicide or having suicidal thoughts is not something to be ashamed of. We need to inspire people to talk more and we need to make it easier for them to share their feelings.”

This message was instilled at the core of The Mail’s Time to Talk campaign which has been running since March.

Michael Cassells, community worker at Mind in Furness, said: “I would like to thank The Mail for its support on this important issue and I would like the paper to continue to play its part in raising awareness about suicide prevention.

“Mind in Furness is pleased to be part of Suicide Safer Barrow and I would like to continue to stress the importance of making suicide prevention a priority and in addressing the underlying issues that cause people to take their own lives.”

John Woodcock, Independent MP for Barrow and Furness, said: “I am so pleased the community is coming together to give concerted and coordinated support to help prevent more terrible tragedies like we have sadly seen in the area recently.

“There should always be somewhere for people to turn when they are feeling so desperate they consider taking their own life and that starts by making everyone more aware so they can call in appropriate support for their loved ones or colleagues.

“I am keen to back Suicide Safer Barrow in any way I can and look forward to meeting the team putting it together.”

Vanessa Sims, editor of The Mail said: “If we can prevent just one person from feeling so desperate they believe they have no option but to take their own life then our campaign would be worthwhile.

"Here at The Mail we saw the worrying increase in suicide rates and realised we needed to act. We are so pleased that health bosses have listened to our call for action. We now hope that more people realise that every life matters."