A MENTAL health helpline has more than doubled in use in less than a year.

The out-of-hours Trust Line, run by Mid Essex Mind, took 6,050 calls in October to December last year, roughly double that received from January to March 2012.

Nearly half of the calls came from patients and family living in Colchester and Tendring who had mental health issues.

The call centre staff can provide immediate advice or access NHS staff.

Paul Keedwell, Director of Operations and Nursing, said, “There is a clear need for this kind of service."