People are being urged to talk about mental health as part of Suicide Prevention Day this Sunday.

This year Hertfordshire County Council’s theme to support the event is “take a minute, change a life”.

More than 800,000 people worldwide commit suicide each year, and up to 25 times as many people make a suicide attempt.

Nearly two thirds of people in Britain have faced mental health issues according to a recent study by the Mental Health Foundation.

Hertfordshire County Council’s member for public health Richard Roberts said: “World Suicide Prevention Day raises awareness of the devastating impact suicide has on families, friends and communities.

“Hertfordshire has one of the lowest suicide rates in the country with a very strong partnership approach; we want to go further and make our County safer for everyone. No one should ever feel that taking their life is their only option.

“Everyone has the chance to help, reach out to someone, a complete stranger, family member or close friend. “Are you Ok?” could be enough to change the course of someone’s life.”

Events will be taking place throughout the country, including a charity bike ride in Stevenage.

, Executive Director of Quality and Safety at Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) Dr Jane Padmore said: “The impact of suicide on family, friends, the wider community, first responders and NHS staff cannot be overestimated.

“As well as improving support for families, HPFT is leading in providing guidance and training, as well as public awareness through the Spot the Signs campaign.

“This work is focused on encouraging all of us to be able to talk about how we are feeling, help those who may be thinking about suicide and to signpost them to mental health services available in Hertfordshire.”

For more information about help visit the council’s website at or contact The Samaritans online at call 116 123.