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Expat Exchange - Understanding Mental Health in Colombia
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Rodadero Beach in Santa Marta, Colombia


Understanding Mental Health in Colombia

By Betsy Burlingame

Colombian Visa Services
Colombian Visa Services

Summary: Expats face a lot of stressors living abroad. It's important to know how mental healthcare services work in Colombia should you need them.

As an expat or digital nomad moving to or living in Colombia, understanding the local mental health services and cultural attitudes towards mental health is crucial. This article aims to provide valuable insights into the availability of English-speaking providers, the nature of mental health care, and the use of online services, helping you navigate the mental health landscape in Colombia.

Finding a Mental Health Care Provider in Colombia

Finding an English-speaking mental health care provider in Colombia can be challenging but not impossible. Major cities like Bogotá, Medellín, and Cartagena have a higher likelihood of English-speaking professionals due to the larger expat communities. It's advisable to seek recommendations from expat groups, international clinics, or use online directories that list therapists who offer services in English.

Mental Health Care Services in Colombia

The mental health care services in Colombia may differ from what expats from English-speaking countries are accustomed to. While urban areas have more resources and professionals, the approach to therapy might vary, and the availability of certain medications could be limited. It's important to manage expectations and be open to different methods of treatment that are available within the country.

Standard of Care for Mood Disorders in Colombia

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is recognized and practiced in Colombia, but it may not be as prevalent as in English-speaking countries. There is a diverse range of therapeutic approaches, and while CBT is available, especially in larger cities, expats may also encounter other forms of therapy that are popular in the region. It's essential to discuss treatment options with your provider to find the best fit for your needs.

Online Mental Health Services for Expats and Nomads

Online mental health services are becoming increasingly popular among expats and digital nomads in Colombia. Technological infrastructure in urban areas usually supports these services well, but more remote locations might face connectivity issues. Expats often favor online services for their convenience and the ability to access therapists who speak their native language.

Other Considerations for Mental Health Care in Colombia

Expats and nomads should consider that cultural attitudes towards mental health in Colombia may differ from those in their home countries. There is still some stigma associated with mental health issues, and this can influence the openness with which people discuss and seek treatment for these problems. Additionally, navigating the local healthcare system and insurance coverage for mental health services can be complex, so it's advisable to research and plan ahead to ensure access to the necessary support.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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Colombian Visa Services

Rodadero Beach in Santa Marta, Colombia

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