A NEW scheme targeted at preventing suicide across Berkshire launched on Tuesday, October 17.

The start of the Berkshire Suicide Prevention Strategy was marked with an event at Wokingham Town Hall, with a vision to reducing the number of lives lost.

Men between the ages of 45 and 49 have the highest suicide rate in the UK and the joint strategy will serve the whole of Berkshire until 2020 in order to tackle the issue.

Six local authorities, as well as health and wellbeing boards throughout the county, will be adopting the new regime.

Darrell Gale, public health consultant lead in Berkshire, said: “This strategy is a joint contribution by all the key partners, including local government, the NHS, police, voluntary sector and importantly, bereaved families.

“We aim to progress this work through six complementary action plans in each of the six local authorities that link across Berkshire.”