There is a need for a short form questionnaire with known psychometric characteristics that may be used as an indicator of level of global mental distress. A weighted sum of 5 questions from the Symptom Check List (SCL) anxiety and depression subscales (SCL-25) correlates at r= 0.92 with the global SCL-25 score. The alpha reliability for the (5-item) short form questionnaire was 0.85. Age differences seemed to be trivial, and sex differences were moderate. Descriptive statistics for short form scores in a large, representative sample are given.