MP Owen Paterson’s vow on mental health after death of wife Rose

Owen Paterson has vowed to do everything he can to support mental health charities as his family continue to suffer "unimaginable anguish" after the death of his wife Rose.

Owen Paterson has been the Conservative MP for North Shropshire since 1997
Owen Paterson has been the Conservative MP for North Shropshire since 1997

Mrs Paterson, the chairman of Aintree Racecourse, took her own life in the woods at the couple’s home near Ellesmere in June, leaving no note and without showing any signs of how she was feeling.

Mr Paterson, the MP for North Shropshire, says if he can do something that will save just one life and one family suffering such heartache, his pledge will be worthwhile.

“I shall be working at both local and national level to build suicide prevention strategies and support those organisations offering help to people with mental health issues,” he said.

“There are organisations in Shropshire that are there 24 hours a day to help.”

Owen and Rose Paterson pictured in 2018

A search of Mrs Paterson’s computer history found that the 63-year-old had looked at websites on the subject of suicide in the days before her death – websites that have appalled her husband.

“These sites use incredibly seductive language, very measured narrative and are horribly inviting.

“I am looking to see if there is any way anything can be done about these dreadful sites,” he said.

Read the full interview:

Mr Paterson has already met with senior coroner for Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin, John Ellery, who conducted the inquest into his wife’s death, to look at the scale of such tragic deaths in the county.

So far this year, 39 have been registered by the coroner.

Mr Paterson has also had talks with those leading the mental health charity, Shropshire Mind, and the Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire Suicide Prevention Network.

He also fears that the Covid restrictions will have an effect on the mental health of many people and appealed to anyone feeling down or unhappy to tell someone.

“Nothing, absolutely nothing justifies taking your own life,” he said.

“The effect it has on family and friends is absolutely catastrophic and life lasting. If I can prevent just one other family going through this, it will be worthwhile.”

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