A total of ten people took their own life in Barrow last year - the highest rate per 100,000 of any town in the north of England.

The news comes in the week of World Suicide Prevention Day, with the new figures revealing ten people took their life last year, compared to 11 in 2018.

The figure that makes Barrow the highest in the north is which is 16.9 per 100,000, which is much higher than the national average at 10.1.

Chris Wood, development manager at Every Life Matters, a suicide prevention charity, said: “Statistics are very difficult to read, so you need to look at trends.

“You do get fluctuations at district level.

“There has also been a change in how they record these things in 2019 which has impacted on the figures.

“The rolling average of the last three years is much higher.

“It was a lot lower back in 2015 for example.

“Barrow is still very high when compared to the national average.

“It is the district with the highest rates in the north.

“There is a clear shift in the dataset.

“Barrow started in the 2000’s with a high rate, then saw a dip, followed by a rise.

“This could mirror austerity and economic struggle, however it is difficult to say whether these are the cause.

“Barrow and the west coast of Cumbria have some of the highest rates in the country, and that is an indisputable fact.”

Every Life Matters spend time running training seminars on suicide prevention day and have been working hard to put the message across to the public that they need to reach out to one another to help those in need.

Mr Wood has urged people who are struggling and need help to go out and seek it.

“Suicide is the biggest killer in men under the age of 50,” Mr Wood said.

“It is also the biggest killer of women under the age of 35.

“It is a huge issue and we need to address it in society.”

If you are struggling, contact Samaritans on 116 123, or you can contact other organisations such as Mind by calling the number 0300 123 3393.