Mental health in Colombia

BJPsych Int. 2015 Nov 1;12(4):95-97. doi: 10.1192/s2056474000000660. eCollection 2015 Nov.


A hallmark of Colombia is population-wide exposure to violence. To understand the realities of mental health in Colombia requires attention to the historical context of 60 years of unrelenting armed conflict overlaid upon high rates of homicide, gang activity and prevalent gender-based and intra-familial violence. The number of patients affected by trauma is extremely large, and the population burden of alcohol misuse and illicit drug use is significant. These patterns have brought the subspecialties of trauma and addiction psychiatry to the forefront, and highlight the need for novel treatments that integrate psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacological modalities.