A MENTAL health expert and university lecturer is publishing a potentially life-saving help guide in a bid to combat the increase in young people committing suicide.

Steven Walker, of Sunny Point in Walton-on-the-Naze, is a child and adolescent mental health specialist and is now gearing up for the release of his latest book, Supporting Troubled Young People.

The accomplished author, who also teaches psychology at the University of Essex and lectures at the School of Health and Social Care, has previously published 13 textbooks.

His forthcoming publication, available from October 7, was inspired by the shocking rise in the amount of younger people suffering from mental health problems and committing suicide.

Mr Walker said: “I was motivated to write my new book as I read stories about the increasing numbers of children and young people suffering mental health problems.

“I think suicide is on the rise due to austerity and the lack of services available which could prevent a young person from taking their own life.

“Suicides in under 25-year-olds and self-harm in very young girls, for example, have increased in recent years and cases of anxiety and depression are overwhelming local mental health services.”

Supporting Troubled Young People, which distributed by Critical Publishing and written in a “non-jargon” style, draws on Mr Walker’s 30 years of experience working with children and families.

He is now hoping the book will help people better identify when a young person is showing signs of mental problems and learn how to prevent fatal consequences.

Mr Walker said: “I am hoping people will take from the book more of an understanding of why young people become mentally ill, how to spot early signs of problems in order to avoid them becoming more serious.

“It is also an aid for struggling teachers who face increasing numbers of disturbed children, and a resource for parents to know what to do and where to seek help.

Steven Walker will launch Supporting Troubled Young People with a book signing event at the University of Essex on October 7.

For more information visit criticalpublishing.com.