Factors associated with people suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) or anxiety disorders seeking or receiving treatment are not well known. In the Health 2000 Study, a representative sample (n=6005) of Finland's general adult (> or =30 years) population was interviewed with the M-CIDI for mental disorders and health service use for mental problems during the last 12 months. Predictors for service use among those with DSM-IV MDD (n=298) or anxiety disorders (n=242) were assessed. Of subjects with MDD, anxiety disorders, or both, 34%, 36%, and 59% used health services, respectively. Greater severity and perceived disability, psychiatric comorbidity, and living alone predicted health care use for MDD subjects, and greater perceived disability, psychiatric comorbidity, younger age, and parent's psychiatric problems for anxiety disorder subjects. The use of specialist-level mental health services was predicted by psychiatric comorbidity, but not characteristics of the disorders per se. Perceived disability and comorbidity are factors influencing the use of mental health services by both anxiety disorder and MDD subjects. However, still only approximately one-half of those suffering from even severe and comorbid disorders use health services for them.