A CHARITY is once again holding an event to raise awareness of the difficult yet important issue of suicide.

On Sunday, the If U Care Share Foundation, which is based near Chester-le-Street, is hosting the national Inside Out campaign.

The aim is to encourage people to talk about how they are really feeling and reduce the risk of people taking their own lives.

The charity’s founder, Shirley Smith, from Great Lumley, who son Daniel O’Hare, took his own life aged 19 in 2005, said this, the campaign’s fourth year, will be the biggest and best yet.

Mrs Smith said: “Inside Out itself is quite simple. It encourages people to share how they are feeling; something the charity believes can be life-saving.”

Sunday is also Worldwide Suicide Prevention Day on and the charity is asking people to wear an item of clothing Inside Out and one of its Ask Me Why stickers.

Supporters are also taking to social media share their Inside Out selfie using the hashtag #askmewhy.

Mrs Smith said: “Turning your clothes inside out is a fun way to encourage open and frank conversations about how we are feeling.

“The idea is simple but the effect on someone’s life could be profound.

“Suicide devastates communities and families throughout the North-East and this campaign is trying to prevent that from happening.

“We need to encourage people to open up and talk to start making a difference and reduce the suicide rate in this country.”

Since 2005, If U Care Share Foundation has supported over 940 people at risk of, or bereaved by suicide and yet this remains the leading cause of death in under 35 year olds in this country.

In the North-East the latest figures, 2013-2015, show 847 suicides, 656 male, 191 female, one of the highest regional rates.

Celebrities including model Melinda Messenger, reality TV Star Binky Felstead and mental health campaigner Jonny Benjamin are all wearing their clothes inside out to promote the campaign and former professional footballers Alan Shearer and Leon Mckenzie have expressed their support on social media.

If U Care Share will have a presence at Prince Bishops Shopping Centre, Durham, The Galleries, Washington and the Cornmill Shopping Centre, Darlington today and at the Great North Run on Sunday to encourage members of the public to talk about how they are feeling, and potentially save a life.

Mrs Smith said: “Suicide continues to be a major issue affecting our communities with suicide rates increasing year on year.”