• Description

This paper analyzes how mental health problems impede low-income mothers' ability to work and how health insurance improves access to mental health treatment services. According to data from the 2002 National Survey of America's Families, low-income mothers in poor mental health are significantly less likely to work and to work full time than those without these problems. Low-income mothers with public or private health insurance are significantly more likely to receive treatment than those without insurance. Mental health problems are an important barrier to work among low-income women, and access to treatment could be improved through increased health insurance coverage.