A PETITION has been started after messages of hope for people suffering with mental health issues were taken down by the county council.

The petition is calling for Worcestershire County Council to allow these notes to be re-made and re-hung and for it to re-think its "extremely blinkered" view of the situation and to "think outside the box."

Katie Houghton spent months writing more than 150 messages of hope and inspirational quotes and on Saturday led a small team to Muskett's Way footbridge in Redditch to attach them.

Redditch Advertiser:

What the bridge looked like with the notes (bottom) and now (top)

In the past the bridge, over the Bromsgrove Highway, has seen more than 40 suicide attempts and a number of worrying calls to police.

Numerous councillors and campaigners, including former Redditch mayor Joe Baker, have fought to have the bridge made safer including putting a cage around it saying that unless something is done lives will continue to be lost.

The idea to decorate bridges and other suicide hot-spots was started by Lucy Mathison and Megan Embleton, who have attempted to take their own lives dozens of times, who are using their experiences to help others and their aim is to save lives.

However, on Tuesday morning it became clear that all of the notes, filling the entire length of the bridge, had been torn down, leaving nothing but the cable ties used to attach them.

Redditch Advertiser:

Katie Houghton

Speaking at the time, Ms Houghton, who has a long history with mental health issues, said: "I'm devastated. I'm fuming, and heartbroken."

A spokesman for Worcestershire County Council confirmed it was the council which removed them on the grounds they would be distracting to motorists.

So far, almost 2,500 people have singed the petition.

For more information, go to change.org/p/worcester-county-council-musketts-way-bridge-notes-of-hope-permission-to-hang-our-notes

For help and advice or to talk to someone, call Samaritans on 116 123.