A SUPPORT group for people bereaved by suicide is starting in York - after figures showed male suicide in the city is amongst the highest in the UK.

Facing the Future is being run by York Samaritans and York and North Yorkshire Cruse Bereavement Care next month.

It is being launched as a "suicide audit" is being carried out alongside coroners in York and North Yorkshire following a total of 62 confirmed suicides in York between 2010 and 2014 with an age range if 12 to 90-years-old.

The North Yorkshire and York Suicide Prevention Task Group is due to examine each incident and to look at the links between self harm and suicide in order to put forward a plan to reduce suicide risk in the area.

Last year The Press reported how levels of male suicide in York between 2002 and 2013 were the fourth highest in the country.

A report on suicide prevention presented to the City of York Council's Health and Wellbeing Board last night stated: "Suicides are not inevitable. They are often the end point of a complex history of risk factors and distressing events; the prevention of suicide has to assess this complexity. This can only be done by working across all sectors. Suicide causes much distress to the families and friends affected and this is one of the key areas for consideration in suicide prevention."

The North Yorkshire and York Suicide Prevention Task Group is overseen by North Yorkshire County Council and has representatives from the police, NHS and the Samaritans among others.

The new support group gives people who have lost someone to suicide an opportunity to meet others who have had similar experiences.

Facing the Future is free of charge and available to anyone over 18. Group sessions last for 90 minutes and will run once a week over six consecutive weeks. The bereavement does not have to have been recent, although the service is designed for people bereaved for more than three months.

It begins on February 25.

A spokeswoman for York and North Yorkshire Cruse, said: “We are extremely happy to be rolling out the service to our area. We know how isolating and difficult it can be to experience bereavement following suicide, and we hope that in delivering these groups we will be able to make a real difference in people’s lives”.

If you are interested in joining a Facing the Future group, please call 0208 939 9560 or visit www.facingthefuturegroups.org for more information.

- Anyone experiencing feelings of depression and contemplating suicide can phone York Samaritans on 01904 655888.