Conservative MP 'nervous' revealing suicide attempt but overwhelmed with support

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A Conservative MP was "nervous" speaking about his attempted suicide and revealed some of his political colleagues struggled at times with their mental health.

Elliot Colburn, who represents Carshalton and Wallington, said he felt "privileged" to be an MP despite the ups and downs of the job.

He shared his experience at Prime Minister’s Questions and told ITV News London he only decided to do it a few hours before.

"The Speaker called me and it was something that I've been thinking about for a while because I've been speaking to constituents who have been going through a really rough time," Elliot Colburn said.

"So I've been thinking that maybe if I shared my story, it might help bring some light and attention for other people to get help.

"But I didn't decide until that morning that I was going to do it.

"I've been overwhelmed to be honest. I really have," he added.


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At Prime Minister's Questions Mr Colburn became emotional as he spoke about his experience of a suicide attempt in 2021 and charted his recovery from the ordeal.

Speaking to ITV News London he described feeling "isolated" during a "very dark moment" in life when he thought about ending his life.

Asked if he could pinpoint the moment he began feeling unwell, he said: "I can't pinpoint it down a single thing, but in those moments and in the months leading up to it, there was a feeling that I couldn't see the wood for the trees.

"I felt pretty isolated. There were things going on at home there were things going on at work.

"At the time it was this very sort of lonely and scary feeling of being trapped almost and not really having anywhere to go. I know now that wasn't true, but that's how I felt at the time.

"So I attempted to take my life in 2021."

The MP was looked after by medics at St Helier Hospital in South London before being transferred to a psychiatric hospital in Tooting.

He described his recovery as "amazing" and felt confident enough to start sharing his experience and find out why he felt so low.

"It was a combination of some things that had brought me down - to also my own brain telling me that there was no way out and I was trapped," he said.

"You think 'no one would help you'.

"You're just going to either have to deal with this or take yourself out of the equation and I sadly listened to those voices and didn't seek out the help that I got afterwards," Elliot explained.

Asked what he would say to someone in a similar situation Elliot said: "Honestly do reach out.

"You might feel as if no one wants listen to you and hear you, but there are people there who really will.

"I'll be the first to admit that sometimes we feel as if we're on our own, or we tell ourselves that we need to deal with it ourselves.

"Particularly, I think, as men, we often say we just need to grit our teeth and bear with it.

"Do reach out, speak to someone that you love, you trust or speak to a professional, speak to someone.

"Because for me it was that moment when I started vocalizing what was in my head that I started to make sense of what brought me so low. "Hearing it spoken out loud made me think this isn’t unsolvable. I can move past this. So reach out. It's my message to everyone going through this.


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