A CUMBRIAN MP has praised volunteers working to prevent suicide in the county.

Rory Stewart, the Prisons Minister and MP for Penrith and The Border met with members of Suicide Safer Eden (SSE) ahead of Time to Talk Day, which took place yesterday.

Time to Talk Day, designed by campaign group Time to Change, aimed to encourage more open discussion about struggles with mental health.

Following his meeting with SSE volunteers, Mr Stewart was full of praise for the team.

“Talking about mental health is so important and can make a real difference to people’s lives,” Mr Stewart said.

“It was really interesting talking to the volunteers at Suicide Safer Eden, who are doing some great work to raise awareness of suicide, and learn more about how everyone can help prevent suicide.

“If you are struggling with your mental health, I would encourage you to contact your local GP or contact Samaritans on 116 123.”

While speaking to Mr Stewart, the SSE volunteers explained that they encourage be ‘helpful nosiness’ - to gently enquire how people are feeling, and to listen and direct them towards help.

SSE hold regular public sessions highlighting how suicide can best be prevented across the Eden area.