The Great North Air Ambulance has shared the message that "it's okay not to be okay" revealing that the service responded to 72 incidents of self harm this financial year.

In the 2019/2020 financial year, the Great North Air Ambulance was called out to 72 incidents of self harm.

The service revealed the statistic today in conjunction with World Suicide Prevention Day 2020.

A spokesperson for the service said: "In these cases, by the time we are involved, the patient’s mental struggle has escalated to the point that they have sustained a severe physical injury. It is not the time to address the root cause, even if we could. Sometimes, it is too late for our clinicians to make any meaningful difference.

They said: "As a society, we must be more supportive, we must listen to and care for those with troubles, and we must do better to understand the issues around mental health.

"It’s only a tiny change, but by reporting our self-harm statistics, we hope it will add to the growing discussion around the subject."

Support is available at Samaritans on 116 123.