A FATHER whose daughter killed herself says more must be done to help people at risk of taking their own lives.

New figures reveal Brighton and Hove has one of the highest suicide rates in the country, behind only Eastbourne and St Helens, in Merseyside.

But the figures came as no shock to Peter Lambert, whose daughter Nikki took her own life in October.

In fact, he was surprised the suicide rate in Sussex was not higher.

“People are not getting the help that they need,” he said.

“While the police were faultless helping us with Nikki, the mental health system just did not provide the support that she needed.

“There needs to be more training and more help.”

Nikki, 33, jumped to her death from Beachy Head hours after being discharged from Mill View hospital in Hove. Her inquest was held in July.

Read more: Parents blame psychiatric hospital mistakes for daughter's death

The latest Office for National Statistics data shows there were 113 suicides in Brighton and Hove in the three years from 2015 to 2017, a rate of 16 deaths per 100,000 people.

In Eastbourne there were 45 suicides over the same three-year period, or 17 per 100,000 people. Many of those were people who took their lives at Beachy Head.

Dr Rick Fraser, medical director at Sussex Partnership, the NHS trust that runs Mill View, said Brighton’s high level of drug use and homelessness contributed to its high suicide rate.

He said: “Brighton has a young population and there are many homeless and disconnected people who turn to drugs and are more vulnerable. It’s a romantic place that might be a destination for people to come to if they feel lost, somewhere for them to rebuild their lives.

“We believe that suicide is never inevitable and have pledged to work towards achieving zero suicides in our communities.

“We won’t get it right by blaming individuals, we can only get it right by working together.”

Stella Coomber, chief executive at the charity Grass Roots Suicide Prevention, said Brighton had shown a higher rate of suicides than other cities for 100 years.

Speaking about Nikki Lambert, she said: “Discharge from a mental health setting into the community is a critical time for a person who has been at risk of suicide. It is essential that the appropriate care and resources are put into place to ensure this safe transition.”

“The challenge is that suicide is complex and personal, and each person’s care plan needs to reflect the individuals needs and match them with resources available within a system that is already hugely stretched,” she added.

Labour MP for Hove, Peter Kyle said: “It’s heartbreaking that suicide rates are rising in our local area.

“Every suicide is preventable, and government must take this crisis seriously, and take urgent action to save lives.”A spokesman for the Sussex NHS trust which runs Mill View said: “The death of anyone known to our services is a tragedy and we again offer our sincere condolences.

“The last time Miss Lambert was assessed by two doctors and an approved mental health professional it was agreed that it was not appropriate to detain her in hospital.”

The trust said it was carrying out a serious incident investigation following “this tragic accident”.

The spokesman said: “Following the investigation, we have set up an additional local complex care panel which allows clinicians to meet more frequently as a multi-disciplinary team with senior colleagues to discuss individual cases at a local level.”