A STRUGGLING mental health trust is launching a suicide awareness and prevention campaign... months after it was criticised over failures which could put lives at risk.

Essex Partnership University NHS foundation trust is running the campaign between World Suicide Prevention Day, today, and World Mental Health Day, on October 10.

The campaign is encouraging people to download the Stay Alive app. which aims to to be a self-help suicide prevention tool.

Created by Grassroots Suicide Prevention, the app includes rapid access to the trust’s crisis service telephone numbers, advice about staying safe, information about helping people in need and details about suicide myths.

Andy Brogan, executive chief operating officer, said: “Although there are lots of myths and stigma about suicide and mental health, if we can use this app to raise awareness and get people talking about it more, I think we can open the door to being able to save lives.

“This is incredibly important because one death by suicide is one too many. It is about saving lives and keeping people safe and well – and it affects us all.”

The campaign is also encouraging people to complete the Zero Suicide Alliance’s 20-minute online training package.

But the trust has been under fire recently.

The trust has been involved in long-standing controversy surrounding the deaths of patients at their facilities which were formerly run by the North Essex Partnership Trust.

In November, Essex Police dropped a corporate manslaughter investigation in the deaths of 25 people.

The force said although it had found “basic failings”, the threshold for corporate manslaughter was not met.

Earlier this year, the health ombudsman published a damning report which found significant failings by the trust had led to the deaths of two men at Chelmsford’s Linden Centre.

The latest CQC inspection, published in June, saw inspectors tell the trust to make improvements once again.