FUNDING has been secured to provide more support for men in the region who are at risk of self-harm and suicide.

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership will use the £114,000 pot to finance support workers.

They will provide help and advice to up to 600 men, on an individual basis and in groups.

All age groups will be included, but with emphasis on those between 35 and 50.

Different ways of engaging men will be developed in partnership with leisure, sporting and community organisations, such as football, rugby and boxing clubs.

Suicide has been recognised as a "significant" issue in this area – it is the biggest killer of men under 50.

And the wider Yorkshire and Humber region has some of the highest suicide rates in England.

Mental health issues and financial problems are identified as the biggest contributory factors.

The funding, from NHS England/NHS Improvement, has been welcomed by the partnership.

Its chief executive officer lead, Rob Webster, said men often found it difficult to share issues affecting them.

He added: "This initiative will bring men together with support and prevent suicides occurring.

"It will help make links with vulnerable men who would not traditionally approach services such as NHS mental health provision.

"Support may be in various forms, including the development of coping mechanisms, managing setbacks and dealing with family challenges. A clearer way into more-formal services delivered by the NHS and social care will also be available.

"The initiative will help ensure we deliver on some of the ambitions set out in our suicide prevention strategy.

"As someone who has been personally affected by suicide, I understand the impact not just on the person but also on the family and friends left behind.

"I know we can reduce that impact."

Sara Munro – chief executive officer lead with the partnership's mental health, learning disabilities and autism programme – said preventing suicide was a priority area.

"That is why we created our region-wide multi-agency suicide prevention strategy," she added.

"This additional investment is very welcome as it allows us to build on what we know can make a difference to men in particular – and ultimately prevent the tragic loss of life of the person and the lasting devastation that suicide causes for families."

Help will also be provided by voluntary organisations, such as State of Mind.

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership focuses on the needs of people across Bradford district and Craven, as well as other parts of the region.

It comprises several organisations, including Healthwatch.