Background: Generic preference-based measures (EuroQoL-5D (EQ-5D) and SF-6D) are used in the economic evaluation of mental health interventions. However, there are inconsistent findings regarding their psychometric properties. Aims: To investigate the psychometric properties of the EQ-5D and SF-6D in different mental health conditions, using seven existing data-sets. Method: The construct validity and responsiveness of the measures were assessed in comparison with condition-specific indicators. Results: Evidence for construct validity and responsiveness in common mental health and personality disorders was found (correlations 0.22-0.64; effect sizes 0.37-1.24; standardised response means 0.45-1.31). There was some evidence for validity in schizophrenia (correlations 0.05-0.43), but responsiveness was unclear. Conclusions: EQ-5D and SF-6D can be used in the economic evaluation of interventions for common mental health problems with some confidence. In schizophrenia, a preference-based measure focused on the impact of mental health should be considered.