Recent decades have seen renewed interest in the study of poverty and its repercussions on various health problems, including mental disorder (Patel, 2007). There are various ways of measuring poverty; some approaches define it in economic terms, whereby health is included only as an asset that must be given to those defined as poor (Damián & Boltvinik, 2003). Other conceptions propose definitions based on the capacity of the poor to improve their standard of living, and consider health and education as essential elements in this process. This is the case of the Human Development Index (HDI), which, in addition to the economic dimension, measures other social indicators such as life expectancy, literacy and school enrolment and drop-out rates, among others (United Nations Development Programme, 2000). On the basis of the HDI, Mexico ranks 52 out of 177 countries. According to its percentage of gross domestic product invested in health, it is regarded as a country with a medium/high income level.