North East MPs Kevan Jones and Liz Twist are calling for continued funding for vital Suicide Prevention work in the region.


NHS funding for specialist North East-based charity ‘If U Care Share’ is set to be slashed at the end of this month, which could leave highly vulnerable individuals without 1-1 suicide prevention support.


The charity was set up by County Durham mother Shirley Smith when she lost her son Daniel to suicide and has won recognition across the UK and internationally, for its effective, targeted work.


However the NHS Commissioning body for the region, the Integrated Care Board, will not commit to any funding beyond 31st March 2024.


The North East has the highest rate of suicide in England and Wales, with 299 lives tragically lost during 2022.


Kevan Jones MP for North Durham and long-time campaigner for improved Mental Health support said :


“I am deeply concerned that funding for suicide prevention services is under threat, and have no confidence that NHS bodies, which are already over-stretched, will be able to offer an alternative.


“I am aware personally of highly-vulnerable constituents who say that If U Care Share offers them a life-line, and in the last year the charity have supported over 500 individuals.”


Liz Twist, MP for Blaydon and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention said :


“Suicide is a major public health issue in this region, and the Integrated Care Board should be looking to expand funding and coverage of services, not reducing it.


“I call on the Integrated Care Board to act urgently to continue financing this vital work”