- Mental health problems, which affected one-third of the survey respondents9, varied by age, ethnicity, and marital status.
Almost 20% of the respondents scored high on the Psychological Distress Symptom Scale, indicating that they were at high risk for anxiety or a depressive disorder (data not shown). In addition, a quarter of the survey respondents were classified as having major depression using the CIDI-SF.10 The prevalence of mental health problems 11 increased proportionately with age. Slightly less than a quarter of respondents aged under 25 could be classified as having a mental health problem, compared to 53% of respondents aged 40 and older, and 38% of respondents aged 35-39.12
Mental health problems were much more common among white respondents than among black respondents. Almost a third (31%) of whites scored high on the psychological distress scale, compared to one in six (16%) black respondents (Figure IV-4). In addition, divorced and separated respondents had a higher prevalence of mental health problems than never-married respondents in that 34% of divorced or separated respondents scored high on the psychological distress scale, compared to 13% of never-married respondents (Figure IV-5).13
- Mental health problems as employment barriers were much more common among older, white, and previously married respondents.
Almost 15% of all survey respondents reported that a mental health problem had prevented them from taking a job, holding a job, or attending education, or training activities in the past year. About 30% of respondents aged 40 and older had a mental health problem that had been a barrier, compared to only 5% of 18-24 year olds (data not shown). Almost twice as many whites (23%) as blacks (12%) had a mental health problem that had interfered with employment, education, or training in the last year. Never-married respondents (10%) were significantly less likely to have a mental health problem that had been a barrier than respondents who were separated or divorced (24%).