SUICIDE rates in the city have decreased - but York remains above the national average for the number of people who die by suicide.

The work of the York Suicide Safer Community was also praised at a City of York Council meeting - which heard the number of deaths has reduced from 74 people between 2015 and 2017 to 64 between 2016 and 2018.

Of these, 44 were men and 20 were women.

Cllr Chris Cullwick, speaking at a meeting of the health and adult social care committee on Tuesday, said: “I was particularly encouraged by the reduction in the number of suicides - although we have to be tentative.

“But it’s encouraging that the suicide safer community initiative, which has been doing some really good work in the city, does seem to be bearing fruit and we really hope that that continues to be the case.”

The rate of 11.9 suicides reported per 100,000 people is still above the national average of 9.6.

But it has improved since 2016 when the rate was 14 for York.

The suicide safer strategy looks at things like reducing the risk of suicide in high risk groups, improving mental health, training and awareness, and better support for people who are bereaved.

If you have been affected by suicide or are in need to help, call Samaritans on 116 123.