SERVICES to try to prevent people committing suicide in Worcestershire are making "positive progress".

That's the message from the county council and comes following a report in this paper about a mental health campaigner who blasted the authority for its 'blinkered' suicide prevention plan.

The county council said it was supporting World Suicide Prevention Day, held earlier this week, 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."

Earlier this year a group, led by Ms Houghton, placed 150 heartfelt messages of hope on Muskett's Way footbridge in Redditch, 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".

Councillor John Smith, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "The Suicide Prevention Plan was developed by local stakeholders and experts following two workshop sessions.

"They included representatives from Worcestershire County Council, Worcester Samaritans, the emergency services, bereavement support services, Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups, The University of Worcester, and other public, private and voluntary and community sector partners.

"The steering group is working together to prevent suicide by becoming a safer suicide community. This includes tackling the stigma around mental health, improving support and care for those at risk of suicide and learning lessons from those who have died by suicide.

"The group is chaired by Rachael Leslie, a consultant in public health, who brings her personal experience of suicide bereavement to the group, which has already started to make positive progress."