Objective: This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of mental disorders in the population of Martinique, as part of the survey entitled ‘Mental Health in the General Population – Images and Realities’ (Santé Mentale en Population Générale – Images et Réalités). The survey was a multicentre epidemiological study in the general population, conducted in mainland France and French overseas islands between 1997 and 2006, under the authority of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Training and Research in Mental Health (Lille, France).
Methods: The study took place in 2000. Participants aged 18 years or over were recruited in public places, using the quota sampling method, and interviewed using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview.
Results: A total of 900 participants (52.7% women) with a mean age of 43 years completed the survey. Lifetime prevalence of any mental disorder was 29%. Mood (15%) and anxiety disorders (17%) were the most frequent. The rate of suicide attempts was low (4.2% lifetime), while the frequency of suicidal thoughts was high (11% past month) and similar to the frequency in mainland France.
Conclusion: Mental disorders, especially mood and anxiety disorders, were as frequent in Martinique as in mainland France. The lower rates of suicide attempts, in spite of high rates of suicidal thoughts, might deserve further investigation. Our results should strengthen the development of a system of diagnosis and care for these disorders, especially to prevent suicidal behaviours and reduce morbidity and mortality.