The family of a woman whose body was pulled from the Penryn River after she took her own life have said mental health services did not do enough to prevent her death.

Christine Mclean, known as Tina, suffered with mental health problems in the almost two years leading up to her death in November last year, with her family telling an inquest she made attempts on her own life on 21 separate occasions.

At an inquest in Truro on Thursday, Mrs Mclean's daughter Gillian Ashenhurst asked why doctors had not used the mental health act to take her mother into care, despite the fact she had repeatedly told family members and mental health professionals that she wanted to kill herself.

The inquest heard excerpts from a statement provided by Dr Alison Best, a GP at the Penryn Surgery, recounting how Mrs Mclean, a formerly successful businesswoman, had first reported problems with anxiety and stress in January 2013 after her partner left "out of the blue."

Over the course of the next two years, Dr Best's report stated, she was repeatedly prescribed a variety of antidepressants and sleeping tablets, and was also repeatedly treated following overdoses, as well as being admitted at one point to Longreach House mental health unit.

Mrs Ashenhurst told the hearing that during her last two years her mother "just didn't seem to be getting any better," and was "very needy." She also said that doctors told her that Mrs Mclean needed to be less dependent, but she said: "She just didn't get the right treatment and care."

She said at one point she was called from Treliske following an attempt by Mrs Mclean to take her own life, and told doctors she would not pick her mother up as she believed she needed to be kept in hospital for treatment. Instead, she was sent home with a paramedic.

A legal representative for the family asked why Mrs Mclean had never been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, and consultant psychiatrist Dr Damien Clifford responded that she had never been sectioned as she always entered hospital voluntarily.

He said it was his belief and the belief of his team that Mrs Mclean would not have benefitted from inpatient mental health care, and in fact the one time she spent an extended period in Longreach had actually made her worse.

He said: "It was counterproductive. The overdoses after that period were more frequent."

Assistant coroner Barrie van den Berg accepted the findings of the pathologist, Dr Marshall, that the cause of death was drowning, and came to the conclusion that Mrs Mclean took her own life while suffering from anxiety and depression.