A CHARITY aiming to prevent suicide is expanding its services across the county after receiving a £300,000 grant.

Every Life Matters has been awarded £312,959 from the National Lottery Community Fund over five years to support development of its suicide safer communities programme across Cumbria, and to develop a countywide suicide bereavement support service in partnership with other local charities.

It comes as statistics revealed one person a week dies by suicide in Cumbria, 30 per cent higher than the national average. Barrow has the second highest suicide in the whole of the north west.

Nationally 6,507 people died by suicide in the UK in 2018.

Suicide remains the leading cause of death of young people under 25, of death of all men under 50, in the UK.

Recent trends indicate that in 2018 deaths by suicide rose by 11.8 per cent in the UK, with the rate of deaths in under 25’s rising by 23.7 per cent.

Chris Wood, development manager and co-founder of Every Life Matters: “It’s estimated that around one in 17 people will have thoughts of suicide every year. In their lifetime a staggering one in 5 people are estimated to have thoughts of suicide and 1 in 15 will make some form of suicide attempt. Having thoughts of suicide is a common and very distressing response to challenging life circumstances, and we want to see an end to people struggling alone with these thoughts.”

Juliet Gray, training manager 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.”