TWENTY two people in North Ayrshire took their own life last year.

Of these tragedies throughout 2018, 18 were male with four women choosing to take their own life.

The latest statistics, released by the Scottish Public Health Observatory, show a slight drop from the 26 self inflicted tragedies last year, with 18 male and seven female deaths.

Across the county in the same period, 26 people took their own life in East Ayrshire, of whom 21 were male and five female, while 17 people took their own life in South Ayrshire with 12 male deaths and five female.

National figures show 784 people in Scotland died by suicide in 2018, an increase from 680 in 2017.

Billy Watson, Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) chief executive, said: “Today’s figures show we must redouble our efforts as a nation to deepen our understanding of the causes of suicide, so we can help everyone who needs it.”