SENIOR figures have set their sights on eliminating suicides in the borough.

The Office for National Statistics’ 2018 suicide figures show an overall increase in the number of suicides in the UK.

The numbers have risen for men, particularly in the 45-49 age range, and there has been a small increase in under 25s, especially in females aged 10-24 years.

However, the number of suicides has fallen in Cheshire and Merseyside.

Warrington’s rate of 7.2 deaths per 100,000 in 2016-18 was the second lowest in the north west.

The health and wellbeing board reaffirmed its support for the No More Zero Suicide Strategy during Thursday’s meeting at Warrington Town Hall.

Part of the strategy’s vision is to make Cheshire and Merseyside an area where suicides are eliminated and one where people do not consider suicide as a ‘solution to the difficulties they face’.

It also aims to ensure the region supports people at a time of personal crisis, while building individual and community resilience for improved lives.

Dr Muna Abdel Aziz, the council’s outgoing director of public health, said the figures for the town shows ‘what we are doing works’.

She also told members the authority ‘remains committed’ to the zero suicide plan.

“We’ve got sufficient investment in place but we need to work closer with each other and members of the public – every case is tragic and it affects far more than family and friends,” she said.

“It affects the whole community, so we would really like to refresh our commitment to No More suicide – and to start those conversations because that’s how we can prevent suicide.”

Cllr Rebecca Knowles (LAB – Chapelford and Old Hall), cabinet member for statutory health and adult social care, hailed the work of voluntary organisations in the borough.

She added: “It’s a very bold statement zero suicide but, as an ambition, it’s a totally worthwhile one.”