A MENTAL health campaigner has blasted Worcestershire County Council over its 'blinkered' suicide prevention plan.

The county council said it is supporting World Suicide Prevention Day, held today, in a bid to reduce the number of suicides across the county.

The theme of this year's event was 'working together to prevent suicide', and the council said its suicide prevention plan highlights the aims and work of the authority and partner agencies across the region.

The plan combines a range of interventions that build community resilience and target people who may be at higher risk of suicide.

However, campaigner Katie Houghton said that the authority should be doing much more.

"As someone that has planned to end their own life in the past I understand the importance of conversation and also everyone working and doing their bit to make a difference around suicide and helping those feeling that way," she said.

"Sometimes it really is the smallest thing that can make a difference."

The Advertiser reported earlier this year that a group, led by Ms Houghton, placed 150 heartfelt messages of hope on Muskett's Way footbridge, over the Bromsgrove Highway.

In the past the bridge has seen a high number of suicide attempts and a number of worrying calls to police.

However, just days later Ms Houghton, who spent months making the notes and hours on the day attaching them to the bridge, discovered they had been ripped down.

Without warning the county council had removed them "in order to avoid distractions to motorists".

Katie said: "With my Notes Of Hope I wanted to create a moment that someone feeling suicidal may step into, and that may be a distraction, and encourage them to reach out whilst reading something written from a personal perspective of someone that has actually been in that position.

"The aim was to give personal connection and with the added Samaritans number on every note, somewhere the person can call in that moment.

"There are now over 35 bridges that I know of that have had local council support and more importantly success in saving lives - that has been proven.

"This is a great example of 'working together' and local councils supporting people that have experienced mental illness and so know what that moment feels like and supporting them to use that to support others.

"It’s just a shame that Worcestershire County Council are the only council so far that has not supported this initiative."

She added: "While it's great they are supporting World Suicide Prevention Day - suicide is not exclusive to one day and there needs to be new ways to support those feeling suicidal on a continuous basis and so I do hope that they can incorporate their theme of 'working together' within suicide prevention in a less blinkered view in the future."

County councillor John Smith, cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: "Our suicide prevention plan demonstrates a whole system and community approach to addressing suicide across the population with a particular focus on targeted groups.''

On average, one person every week in Worcestershire dies by suicide.

Samaritans are on hand 24 hours a day.

For more, call 116 123 or visit samaritans.org.