Conservative MP Elliot Colburn shares emotional experience of recovery from suicide attempt

A Conservative MP has shared his experience of a suicide attempt at Prime Minister’s Questions as he sent a message to those considering taking their own life that “help is out there”.

Elliot Colburn, the MP for Carshalton and Wallington, became emotional as he spoke about his experience of a suicide attempt in 2021 and charted his recovery from the ordeal.

Mr Colburn told MPs: “February marks emotional health, boost your self-esteem and children’s mental health month. In recent years something like 6,500 people die in the UK each year due to suicide.

“In 2021 I was nearly one of them.

“Luckily my attempt failed, I was found by family members quickly, I received amazing care at St Helier and Springfield Hospitals, didn’t do any permanent damage and was well-looked after by the NHS in the months that followed.

“I want to take this chance to say thank you to everyone who saved me and sorry to my family and loved ones, who I put through such an awful ordeal.

“In that moment, I felt alone and scared, and like there was no way out, and that the world would be better off without me in it.”

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Visibly upset, Mr Colburn added: “I don’t recognise that man any more. I know that nothing is ever really worth that, help really is out there, and I am pretty awesome.

“Does the Prime Minister agree that one death by suicide is one too many?

“And will he send a message from the despatch box today that whatever you are going through, you are not alone, that help is out there, and better days lie ahead?”

As Mr Colburn sat down after sharing his story, his Conservative colleagues on surrounding benches reached out to pat him on the shoulder and comfort him.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak replied: “I know the whole House will join me in commending him for his bravery in sharing his story and I can absolutely assure him that we take this issue incredibly seriously.”

He added: “The new suicide prevention strategy ensures that we will have the actions in place to reduce suicide over the next years, because we absolutely recognise the impact that it has on people, their families, and we should do everything we can to prevent that from happening.”

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