A therapist is questioning the availability of treatment services following an apparent rise in the number of suicides in Cape Breton.

Todd Vassallo, a psychotherapist in Sydney, says there was a 70 per cent increase in the number of suicides from 2014 to 2015.

He says data from the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner’s office indicates that suicide deaths in Cape Breton rose from 14 in 2014 to 24 in 2015.

Vassallo blames the increase on the area’s high rates of poverty and drug use, as well as a lack of access for services and high wait times.