Plight of black people exposed

Black people are three times more likely to be admitted to mental health hospitals and more likely to be secluded or restrained once there, according to a major survey.

The first census of the ethnicity of people using mental health in-patient services also finds that black people were 44 per cent more likely than the rest of the population to be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983.

The study was carried out by the Healthcare Commission, the Mental Health Act Commission and the National Institute for Mental Health in England.

A second report finds mental health service users hope cultural barriers can be broken down so people from ethnic minorities can access mainstream services.

Most service users also want small, purpose-built crisis houses to replace in-patient wards, the survey by charity Rethink finds.

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