Hundreds of detentions of people with mental health issues were made in Cornwall in the year to March 2023, new figures show.

A mental health charity has called the figures a symptom of a "broken" mental health system.

Under the Mental Health Act, people with a mental disorder people can be detained – also known as being sectioned – if they are judged to be a danger to themselves or other people.

Figures from the NHS show around 370 detentions were made in the former NHS Kernow CCG area in the year to March 2023 – or 65 for every 100,000 people in the area.

This was down from the year before, when 380 detentions were made.

Across England there was a slight drop in mental health detentions – there were 51,300 in the year to March 2023, compared to 53,300 the year before.

However, the NHS has warned a cyber-attack on certain mental health providers has meant some data is missing or has had to be estimated. As a result, the figures for 2022-23 may be higher.

Dr Sarah Hughes, chief executive of Mind, said: "These numbers show that the mental health system is broken – far too many people are still reaching crisis before they get any support."

She continued: "Many of the tens of thousands of people who were detained under the Mental Health Act tried to seek help earlier, but the lack of options for accessing care in communities and long waiting lists meant they became more unwell.

"The numbers also show just how deeply embedded racial injustice is in our society – while some improvement has been made, black people are still less likely to get support for their mental health when they first start to struggle, and far more likely to be detained and subject to excessive restrictions."

Black people were far more likely to be detained under the act, with 225 detentions per 100,000 people – compared to 65 per 100,000 for white people.

Mind is calling on whoever forms the next Government to "urgently prioritise" an overhaul of the Mental Health Act.

Younger adults have a higher detention rate than older – 136 per 100,000 people for those aged 18 to 34, compared to 85 for those 65 and over.

Law Society vice president Richard Atkinson said: "The current system means there is a risk that compulsory detention and treatment is used too often and that patients do not have enough involvement in decisions about their care.

"The Mental Health Act should be used in the least restrictive way possible and people who are detained against their will should have their views and choices respected."

Mr Atkinson said reforming the Mental Health Act should be a "priority" for the Government.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said the Government is going "further and faster" to improve mental health services, including £2.3 billion invested annually from this year, and £150 million for people experience mental health crises.

They added: "We are also continuing to pilot models of Culturally Appropriate Advocacy, providing tailored support to hundreds of people from ethnic minorities to better understand their rights when they are detained under the Mental Health Act."