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New report highlights the need for more local mental health beds

The practice of sending mentally ill people long distances for treatment should end, according to the latest report.

It's been branded 'potentially dangerous' by an independent commission which has set a target of next year for it to stop.

In Norfolk and parts of Suffolk last year, almost 300 patients received treatment out of the county.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Malcolm Robertson

Consultation starts on plans to improve cycling in Suffolk

People living in Waveney have the opportunity to comment on a new strategy to improve the local cycle network.

Published for public consultation this week, the draft Cycle Strategy identifies existing issues with cycling routes across the area and proposes potential improvements, aiming to encourage more people to cycle.

Comments are welcome on any cycling issues along with suggestions for ways in which these issues could be resolved.

This feedback will then contribute towards the creation of a more integrated cycle network.

The consultation closes on 15 March 2016.

More details can be found here.


Suffolk singer Lil Chris asked for help on the day of his death

Former Rock School star Lil Chris called mental health services for help on the day of his death, an inquest heard today.

Chris Hardman was found dead at his home in Lowestoft last March at the age of just 24.

The singer had been receiving treatment for depression and had spoken openly about struggling with his mental health after his music career failed to live up to its early promise.

His family said they hoped their tragedy would encourage more openness about the condition.

Serena Sandhu reports.

Family calls for better mental health education following Lil Chris' death

Chris Hardman, known as Lil Chris, in 2009. Credit: Press Association.

The family of Suffolk singer Lil Chris has called for better education around mental health.

As an inquest today concluded the 24-year-old, whose real name was Chris Hardman, had taken his own life, his sister Hannah Hardman said she hoped something positive could come from his death.

She said her brother had always been very open about his history of depression.

Chris Hardman's sister Hannah speaking outside the coroner's court. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

"The fact that young men have mental problems isn't talked about and I think, if we can taken anything from this tragedy, it would be to educate other people and to really talk about it like he did and really be open about it."

– Hannah Hardman, sister.

Fame brought 'pain and problems' for Suffolk star Lil Chris, says coroner

Chris Hardman, who was best known as Lil Chris, in 2009. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

A former child star from Suffolk killed himself after fame at an early age brought "pain and problems", a coroner has said.

Chris Hardman died on March 23 last year. He was found hanged at his home in Union Road in Lowestoft.

The 24-year-old found fame as Lil Chris in the Channel 4 show Rock School and earned a record contract and a top five hit. But he later struggled with depression.

Today an inquest into his death concluded he had taken his own life.

"It's clear this was an intentional act. Christopher was a talented young man who found fame at a young age.

"But sadly that fame brought pain and problems.

"My thoughts are with his friends and family on the loss of a talented young man in tragic circumstances."

– Peter Dean, Suffolk Coroner.


Missing Suffolk teenager may have travelled to Essex or London

Klaudia Sokolowska was last seen on Saturday February 6. Credit: Suffolk Police.

A 15-year-old girl has gone missing from Bury St Edmunds.

Klaudia Sokolowska was last seen in Unicorn Place in the town at about 12.30am on Saturday, February 6.

Police say they are concerned about the welfare of the teenager, who may have travelled towards Essex or London.

Klaudia is 5ft 6in tall, slim build, with black, shoulder-length hair which is often plaited, and has green eyes. She was believed to be wearing a navy blue zipped hoodie, blue skinny jeans and black Ugg boots, when she went missing.

Inquest to begin into death of Suffolk singer

Chris Hardman aka Lil Chris Credit: Suffolk Police

The inquest into the death of Suffolk singer Lil Chris is due to be held today.

The 24 year old reality TV star was found dead at his home in Lowestoft last March. He had struggled with depression.

Lil Chris

The 24 year old, who's real name was Chris Hardman, shot to fame 10 years ago in the Channel 4 programme Rock School.

The inquest is due to be held in Bury St Edmunds.

Great East Swim 2016: will you take the plunge?

Could you brave the cold water? Credit: ITV News Anglia

Plans will be unveiled today for this year's Great East Swim in Suffolk.

Thousands of people squeeze into wetsuits to swim in Alton Water near Ipswich.

The event takes place at Alton Water Credit: ITV News Anglia

The event is now in its fifth year and will take place on Saturday June 18th. Swimmers can take on half-mile or one-mile challenges.

Last year over 2000 swimmers took part in the event. The number of participants has doubled since the outdoor swimming event began in 2009.

Getting ready to take the plunge last year! Credit: ITV News Anglia

Police search for missing Suffolk teenager

Klaudia Sokolowska Credit: Suffolk Police

Police are appealing for help in tracing a missing teenager from Bury St Edmunds.

15 year old Klaudia Sokolowska was last seen at her home address in Unicorn Place, Bury St Edmunds at around 00:30hrs on Saturday 6th February 2016 and has not been seen since.

Klaudia is described as white 5’ 6’’ slim build with black plaited shoulder length hair, green eyes. She is believed to be wearing a navy blue zipped hoodie, blue skinny jeans and black Ugg boots with laces on the back.

It is believed she may have travelled south toward Essex/London. Anyone with information should contact Suffolk Police.

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