Mental health law in Colombia has evolved over the past 50 years, in concert with worldwide recognition and prioritisation of mental healthcare. Laws and policies have become increasingly sophisticated to accommodate the ongoing transformations throughout Colombia's healthcare system and improvements in mental health screening, treatment and supportive care. Mental health law and policy development have been informed by epidemiological data on patterns of mental disorders in Colombia. Colombia is distinguished by the fact that its mental health laws and policies have been formulated during a 60-year period of continuous armed conflict. The mental health of Colombian citizens has been affected by population-wide exposure to violence and, accordingly, the mental health laws that have been enacted reflect this feature of the Colombian experience.