PLENTY of concern has surrounded news this week that suicides are on the up, year-on-year, for the first time in this country since 2013.

Men in their 40s remain the highest risk category, and still make up a large proportion of these tragedies. Worryingly, there has been a spike in the deaths of young men, particularly aged between 20 and 24, and even more alarmingly young girls and women, aged as young as 10 up to 24. Many will no doubt point to the ongoing pressures of modern life and the impact of social media.

So it is good timing that we can reveal this week that plans are in motion to introduce a new 24/7 crisis care service for people facing a mental health crisis in Thurrock.

The new service, set to launch next year, will aim to give residents the same urgent access to mental health services as they are able to get for physical health services.

The bold move is hoped to ease pressure on A&Es too, by opening up ‘crisis cafes’ within the community to provide “flexible, practical and emotional support in a calm and safe place for people in a mental health crisis”.

Every life lost through suicide is one life too many. The plan can’t come soon enough.