MORE needs to be done to raise awareness of the biggest single killer of young men in the country.

No, it is not car or motorcycle accidents or knife crime.

It is suicide, and Ludlow MP and former health minister Philip Dunne wants more to be done.

In the UK, there were 6,507 suicides in 2018 - an 11.8 per cent increase in death by suicide. The rate of deaths among under 25s increased by 23.7 per cent reaching 730 deaths in 2018.

The highest suicide rate is among men aged 45-49, and men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Some experts have said that the true level of suicide may well be higher than the figures suggest because coroners will often try to avoid returning suicide verdicts where there is any doubt.

It has been suggested that men are more vulnerable to suicide because they are less likely to discuss their problems with family and friends and because of old fashioned attitudes that men must be ‘strong’ and that to admit to mental illness is a sign of weakness.

Farming and agriculture is a sector where suicide levels are higher. This is attributed to the loneliness and isolation of the work, financial pressures and the work provides opportunities to take your own life.

“Every suicide is a tragedy, and we must do more to show people it is OK not to be OK,” said Mr Dunne.

“There is help and support available, from a wide range of charities like Samaritans, who will listen and help you talk through your concerns, worries and troubles.

“Similarly, if you are worried about a friend, family member or colleague, Samaritans offer guidance on how to be supportive and become a good listener – which can save a life.”

Samaritans can be contacted for free any time, from any phone, on 116 123.

The Government is increasing funding for mental health services by £2.3bn a year by 2023/24, with mental health forming a key part of the NHS Long Term Plan.

Campaigners like the mental health charity MIND have been expressing concern about the shortage of mental health services.

There are also concerns that some GPs have not been trained to provide the support that is needed when people suffer from conditions like depression.

Some depression has been linked with darkness and the shorter days with special artificial lighting used in some cases as a form of treatment alongside medication and ‘talking therapies.’