FEARS have been raised after a “lifeline” phone that provides people who are struggling with a direct connection to mental health charities was broken.

The phone, located on the Clydebank/Dumbarton side of the Erskine Bridge, appears to have been vandalised leaving it out of action.

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter: The phone is located on the Clydebank/Dumbarton side of the Erskine BridgeThe phone is located on the Clydebank/Dumbarton side of the Erskine Bridge (Image: Newsquest staff)Following the discovery, BT Group who operates the phone box confirmed they are currently investigating the issue.

It comes after people around the globe marked World Suicide Prevention Week recently.

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter: This apparent act of vandalism has sparked concern amongst local politicians.

Councillor Lauren Oxley told the Reporter that a “simple phone call can be a lifeline for many”.

Cllr Oxley said: "Sunday, September 10 marked World Suicide Prevention Day - an important reminder that it's okay not to be okay, and to always check in on your loved ones. 

"Suicide is something that my family and I sadly have personal experience of, so I understand how difficult it is for those struggling, as well as their families and friends. 

"I was saddened to hear about the vandalism of the phone box at the end of the Erskine Bridge, as I know that a simple phone call can be a lifeline for many. 

"I have reported this to West Dunbartonshire Council to look into and have asked for repairs to be arranged as soon as possible." 

Councillor James McElhill added: “I’m sorry to hear that this telephone lifeline has been vandalised and is not in working order.

"Things are extremely difficult for so many people and this type of provision is needed more than ever.

“I will take it up immediately with an appropriate council officer and have the matter addressed at the highest level.”

Martin Docherty-Hughes, West Dunbartonshire’s MP, wrote to the CEO of BT Group after the Reporter got in touch to raise the issue.

It is understood the company’s complaints team is investigating the issue and is working to get it resolved.

Mr Docherty-Hughes said: "It's deeply concerning that this vital lifeline has been neglected.

"This is an essential phone box in a key location at the Erskine Bridge and BT has a duty to maintain it.

"I'll have raised this with the head of BT Group and made it clear this phone line must be restored as quickly as possible."

If you are struggling, please contact Samaritans on 116 123.