1. ITV Report

"More needs to be done to help families impacted by suicide"

The parents of a man from Northumberland who took his own life say more needs to be done to help families impacted by suicide.

25-year-old Aaron Armstrong from Blyth died just weeks after his girlfriend, former Love Island star Sophie Gradon, took her own life.

Aaron Armstrong was 25 when he took his own life Credit: Family photo

Aaron's mother Donna says following his death, they've struggled to access support and now want something done about it. Watch Katie Cole's full report here:

The family want to channel their grief into something positive. They've connected with the County Durham service, If U Care Share, who support those bereaved by suicide, and hope to get similar help in Northumberland.

Each council has a public health department and can decide how to spend the money in their area. Today, Northumberland County Council said it's recently commissioned a service from mental health charity MIND, to provide councilling specifically aimed at those who've lost a loved one.

  • A spokesperson for Northumberland County Council released this statement:

NHS Northumberland CCG and Northumberland County Council Public Health have recently commissioned a service from Tyneside and Northumberland MIND to provide post trauma support and grief/bereavement counselling specifically aimed at individuals who have experienced the loss of a loved one in traumatic circumstances such as suicide.

This service can also offer support to communties through short term drop-in counselling sessions which we have modelled successfully in parts of the county, and community based suicide awareness training.

– Northumberland County Council
  • Rebecca Campbell, Associate Director for North Access Services at Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, said:

Suicide is an incredibly sensitive and important issue which affects individuals and families across the North East, regardless of age, gender or community. People in the North East who are in distress and need help can get in touch with NTW’s Initial Response services which are open for anyone to call, 24 hours a day.

We also offer self help and support resources including both our own resources such as mental health self-help guides, and details of other organisations that people who are in distress can contact, such as The Samaritans.

– NTW NHS Trust
  • Samaritans released the following points in their 2018 report:

In 2017 there were 6,213 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Of these, 5,821 suicides were registered in the UK.

In the UK, men are three times as likely to take their own lives than women.

In the UK, the highest suicide rate was for men aged 45-49.

If you require any urgent help or advice about your mental health, we've made a list of services in our region.

Here to help: contact details for mental health services in the region