The Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) has become one of 10 regional champions for the NHS 70 Parliamentary Awards in the Excellence in Mental Health Care Award category.

Nominated by local MP Luciana Berger, the former Shadow Minister for Mental Health, the ZSA was chosen as one of the 10 winners for the north region after a panel of experts sifted through 217 entries from Parliamentary MPs.

The ZSA will now compete with other regional winners from across England for a national award to be presented at a special ceremony in the Palace of Westminster in July.

Joe Rafferty, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust's Chief Executive and one of the founder members fo the ZSA said: "It's fantastic news that the ZSA is getting national recognition by being shortlisted as a regional champion for the NHS 70 Parliamentary Awards.

"Seventy years since the NHS was formed, suicide is the most significant safety issue for mental health NHS trusts and for society in general. We think the ZSA can play a crucial role in uniting all parts of the system to better identify the risks and factors that influence the identification of someone with suicidal thoughts.

"We want the system to work together by using the best prevention evidence to immediately reduce the number of suicides as soon as possible. We want to bring the ambition of dramatic prevention into reality. We want to bring science-based evidence into everyday use, including our free training, which allows basic information to be available to all."

NHS England Regional Medical Director Dr Mike Prentice said: "Picking champions from the dozens of high quality nominations we recieved from local MPs was incredibly difficult, so all of those going forward to the national ceremony should be extremely proud of their achivement."