A NEW pilot project has been set up to support people struggling with mental health issues and suicidal thoughts. 

The suicide prevention charity Reach Out for Mental Health has launched an out-of-hours crisis service for Harwich. 

The charity supports adults across Essex and provides counselling services, coffee afternoons and befriending services. 

Before the introduction of the pilot project, the out-of-hours nearest contact points for people struggling with their mental health were in Clacton and Colchester. 


With the Harwich-based 'Port in a Storm', individuals in crisis can receive support through one-to-one sessions of 50 minutes. 

“It’s a place for individuals to come when they’re feeling like they’re lacking hope or finding a reason to live,” said Kirsty Eaton, head of the charity. 

“They will be able to speak to one of the crisis support workers for up to 50 minutes and deescalate that crisis and hopefully find some comfort.” 

Sessions are booked through phone referrals by charity worker Karen, who will allocate a slot and confirm the time and place for the support sessions. 

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Claire Bridges, the manager of The Ark Family Resource Centre, will be acting as shift manager during these sessions and will further support the local community. 

“I think the need for services like this has always been there, but sadly Harwich is often forgotten about. Clacton gets a lot of investment, a lot of projects and a lot of attention,” said Miss Eaton. 

“It’s a one-year pilot and hopefully once we can prove that it’s needed then we can get more funding and we can open even more evenings rather than just one evening a week. 

“It's about finding individuals who need this service and reaching out to charities working with those in need. 

“I started my charity because I lost someone by suicide, and I’ve been acutely aware of the lack of services.” 

The sessions will run every Wednesday between 7pm and 10pm and referrals can be made on 07308 069609. 

Callers are asked to get in touch before 5pm to schedule an appointment.