Guide To Finding the Best Online Psychiatrist 2023

When looking for the best online psychiatrist, look for a service that is HIPAA compliant, offers appointments in a format that is convenient for you, and has a pricing structure that meets your needs and addresses your mental health issues.

Share This Post

Accessing mental health services is notoriously difficult and expensive, particularly in the United States, but many companies are trying to change that.

While patients used to wait months for an initial consultation or a follow-up appointment that was expensive, today, online psychiatry services are making it easier than ever to get the mental health care you need. 

We’ve put together a guide to finding the best online psychiatrist and other mental health services.

What is psychiatry?

Although they sound similar, many people are confused about the differences between the terms psychiatry and psychology. 

According to the American Psychiatric Association, psychiatry is the branch of medicine focused on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.

By contrast, the American Psychological Association is the scientific study of the mind and behavior. 

While psychologists do typically have a PhD, they are not considered medical doctors nor are licensed to assist in medication management.

Certified Psychiatrists are medical doctors (MD or DO) who have completed medical school and residency and who are qualified to assess, diagnose, and treat mental and physical aspects of psychological problems. 

If you require a prescription medication for the treatment of a mental health condition, you’ll need to see a psychiatrist or other prescribing physician, as psychologists are not able to prescribe medication. 

How do I know if I need a psychiatrist or a therapist?

Although psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists all play a role in treating your mental health, and call all assist in an overall treatment plan, there are some important distinctions between these positions.

As noted above, a psychiatrist is able to diagnose and treat mental illness with medication, while psychologists and therapists are not.

Psychiatrists do not typically provide therapy services (although some may), while psychologists and therapists are able to provide talk therapy but do not prescribe medications nor assist in medication management. 

You might benefit from psychiatric care if:

PlanProductFeaturesTreatment Today
70% off your 1st Month
Psychiatry evaluation + medication | Hims

Psychiatry evaluation + medication | Hims

  • No searching for a psychiatrist
  • No waiting rooms
  • Licensed psychiatry providers
  • Evidence-backed medicine
  • Personalized treatment plan
  • Includes Medication cost

$85/month - Includes everything

Start Treatment Today
70% off your 1st Month
Psychiatry evaluation + medication | Hers

Psychiatry evaluation + medication | Hers

  • No searching for a psychiatrist
  • No waiting rooms
  • Licensed psychiatry providers
  • Evidence-backed medicine
  • Personalized treatment plan
  • Includes Medication cost

$85/month - Includes everything

Start Treatment TodayRead Review
$349/month - Most Effective Treatment Plan
Medication + Therapy | Brightside Health

Medication + Therapy | Brightside Health

  • FDA-approved medication
  • Evidence-based therapy
  • Always see and expert
  • All therapist hold a master's degree or higher
  • 85% of members feel better within 12 weeks
  • HSA/FSA eligible

$349/month - Coupon available. 

Start Treatment TodayRead Review
$33/Week for 1st Month - Proven most effective
Medication + Therapy | Cerebral

Medication + Therapy | Cerebral

  • Evaluation, diagnosis, and prescription by a medical provider
  • Weekly video/phone sessions with a licensed therapist
  • Monthly medication delivery (if prescribed)
  • Chat securely with your therapist anytime
  • Regular progress tracking by provider & therapist
  • FSA / HSA eligible

Starting at $33/Week for 1st Month

Start Treatment TodayRead Review
If you buy something from a link on our site, we may earn a commission. See our advertising disclosure.

What is the difference between an online psychiatrist and an in-person psychiatrist?

While an online psychiatrist can offer many of the same services as an in-person psychiatrist, there are some important differences.

Both online psychiatrists and in-person psychiatrists are able to diagnose and treat mental health conditions and may offer treatment like cognitive therapy and prescription medications, which can include antidepressants, antipsychotic medications, mood stabilizers, stimulants, and sedatives. 

When choosing an online psychiatrist, you’ll be able to speak to your psychiatrist from anywhere that you have a stable internet connection, including the comfort of your own home.

If you choose to see a psychiatrist in-person, you’ll have to visit your doctor’s office. 

Another key difference is that some online psychiatrists may not be able to prescribe controlled substances, depending on the laws surrounding telemedicine in your state.

Controlled substances include medications like Ativan, Xanax, Adderall, and Ritalin that have a high potential for abuse and addiction.

In some cases, your online psychiatrist may be able to work with your in-person primary care physician to help you get access to the medication that you need.

What services do online psychiatry companies offer?

Online psychiatry companies and online psychiatrists offer a wide range of mental health services, including messaging, video calls, voice calls, and tests. 

When setting up an initial consultation with an online psychiatrist, you’ll typically fill out a questionnaire regarding your reason for being seen, any medications you may be taking, your medical history, and other basic questions, similar to the intake forms you would complete at a doctor’s office.

Depending on your medical history, an online psychiatrist may ask that you submit additional information, such as blood work or medical records from your general practitioner, prior to your appointment.

Appointments typically take place in a secure online portal that is hosted by your psychiatrist.

Your first appointment will likely cover the basics, including your medical history, information regarding your current prescriptions, symptoms you are currently experiencing, and your reasons for seeking out psychiatric treatment.

At the conclusion of your appointment, your psychiatrist will provide their recommendations for treatment, including any prescription medications, and a diagnosis, if appropriate.

Is online psychiatry safe and secure?

Privacy is an understandable concern when it comes to online psychiatry. After all, no one wants their medical history or details about their mental health to be made public.

Fortunately, all licensed psychiatrists are required to abide by national and state regulations that protect the privacy of their patients, including HIPAA regulations, which cover telehealth data security. 

In addition to making sure that you choose to work with a certified psychiatrist who is bound by legal regulations, you also play a role in the security of your online psychiatry session.

Online psychiatry sessions (as well as telemedicine appointments in general) should be conducted on a private, secure Wi-Fi connection rather than on public Wi-Fi or in a public place.

Video conferencing apps like Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime are not HIPAA compliant and are not designed to protect your privacy, so it’s best to stick with the portal used by your online psychiatrist.

What companies offer online psychiatry services?

Between the growing interest in telemedicine in general and the COVID-19 pandemic that pushed many nonessential health appointments to cancel face-to-face visits, there are more online psychiatry services available today than ever before.

 One thing to clarify about online mental health services is that not all online mental health services have psychiatrists on staff.

Some of the most popular, including BetterHelp, offer therapy services but do not offer psychiatry services. If you need to see an online psychiatrist rather than a therapist, consider choosing one of the following options.

TalkSpace

TalkSpace is a popular online mental health provider that features therapy services and psychiatry services all in one place.

Services are available for individuals, couples, and teens ages 13 and older. All of TalkSpace’s sessions are conducted via video, so you’ll need a strong internet connection. 

You’ll complete a short questionnaire and be matched to a psychiatrist that fits your needs and is licensed in your state by a Matching Agent.

Appointments are booked no more than 48 hours in advance, and follow-up appointments are scheduled directly though your provider.

TalkSpace is FSA/HSA approved, HIPAA compliant, and accepts insurance from a long list of partners. 

Patients are able to choose between a wide range of subscription plans that can be billed monthly, quarterly, or biannually, and a la carte live video sessions are also offered. Patients who prefer to have live sessions will need to choose one of the company’s premium or ultimate plans.

LiveHealth

LiveHealth Online might just be the perfect online provider for all of your telemedicine needs.

In addition to offering psychiatry and psychology support, you can also access medical and allergy-related telemedicine support from thousands of board certified physicians. 

Telepsychiatry services are only available to patients ages 18 and older, and you may have to wait up to two weeks for an appointment, as appointments are not available on demand (as is the case with some other providers). 

However, one advantage of LiveHealth over some other online psychiatry platforms is that patients only have to pay for the sessions that they use, as the site doesn’t operate on a subscription model.

Initial consultation’s cost 175 dollars and follow up visits are 75 dollars, but your cost may be lower depending on your health insurance or your employer.

Psychiatrists have appointment times available at convenient hours during the day, night, and weekends, so you’re sure to find one that fits your schedule.

Amwell

Another online telepsychiatry provider is Amwell, which specializes in providing mental health services.

Visits are conducted via video calls either at your computer or via the Amwell app, which can be accessed on mobile devices. You can connect to board-certified psychiatrists 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and enrolling is easy. 

Unlike some other online psychiatry providers, you’ll choose your own physician from a list, which is ideal for patients who are uncomfortable with the idea of someone else choosing their physician for them.

Pricing for Amwell ranges from 279 dollars for a first appointment and 109 dollars for each follow up visit, and no subscription is required.

Some patients may pay less if their health insurance or employer covers telepsychiatry visits. Patients are also able to receive talk therapy through Amwell.

Summary

With so many options available for finding an online psychiatrist, finding the right doctor and treatment plan for you is more convenient and affordable than ever before.

If you have health insurance, make sure you check to see if online psychiatry visits are covered. 

TalkSpace, LiveHealth Online, and Amwell all offer convenient options for online counseling, whether it be psychiatric or psychological care that can help to get your mental health on the right track and get you feeling better than ever. If you don’t like your mental health professional, there are plenty more right at your fingertips.

Sources:

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/what-is-psychiatry-menu

https://www.dea.gov/drug-scheduling

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/24832

Sesame Care

Find the best price for great doctors and specialists

  • Thousands of doctors and specialists
  • $13,000,000+ saved by patients
  • 95% patient satisfaction
  • 4.3 on TrustPilot
     

Popular Destinations

Health

Medication

Telehealth Reviews

Shop

Pharmacist Membership

About Us

Pharmacy Near Me

Recent Articles

Share On:

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Hims ED Review: Does it Actually Work?

We’ve compiled a comprehensive Hims review that will tell you everything you need to know about the company, your treatment options, FAQs about Hims

Hims vs Roman: Complete Review

We’ve put together a complete review of Hims vs. Roman to help you choose the telehealth service that’s right for you. 

BlueChew vs Hims: Which ED Pill is Better?

Both BlueChew and Hims can help you save on your ED pills, but comparing the two, which is better? Consider this your Bluechew vs

The Best Hair Loss Treatment for Men: Comparison Guide

If you’re looking for the best hair loss treatment for men, look no further than this comparison guide.

Roman Review: Is This Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Legit?

Roman is a remote men’s health service that focuses on providing treatments and prescriptions for a multitude of men’s health problems, such as erectile

MobileHelp Review: Pros & Cons of This Medical Alert System

In a sea of options, MobileHelp is one medical alert system that stands out to us. It boasts thousands of strong customer reviews and

Cerebral Review: Online Depression & Anxiety Treatment

Today, we’re deep diving with a Cerebral review to give you some insider info to help you narrow down your choices.

BlueChew vs Roman: Which is Better?

BlueChew and Roman both men's health brands that offer erectile dysfunction treatments and ED pills. BlueChew products are typically less expensive, but fewer options

What are the signs of Depression?

In this article, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of depression as well as some treatment options for this condition.

Rex Md ED Review: What To Know Before You Sign Up

REX MD is a telehealth company that wants to reimagine the world of men’s healthcare. According to their site, they’re aiming to improve the

Picnic Allergy Review: Does This Personalized Treatment Work?

Picnic is a telehealth company that provides personalized treatment for allergy relief, but do they actually work? We hope to provide you with an

Can You Use Gabapentin For Anxiety?

While Neurontin is the most common brand name for gabapentin, other forms (such as Horizant and Gralise) may be prescribed depending on the specific

Zoloft and Weight Loss: Everything You Need To Know

When it comes to Zoloft and weight loss, here’s everything you need to know.

What is Zoloft?

If you have been recently diagnosed with depression and are given Zoloft, you may want to know how the medication works, what common side

Hims Hair Loss Review: Is it Legit?

The Hims Total Hair Package contains clinically proven components that are effective at stopping hair loss and promoting hair growth, including saw palmetto thickening

What is Venlafaxine HCL ER?

Common mental illnesses like major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic disorder affect millions of Americans every year. While many different treatment options

Using Prozac With Alcohol: What Are the Risks?

Prozac has become perhaps the most well-known antidepressant in the United States since its approval for the treatment of depression in 1986. Since then,

How Long Does Clonazepam Stay in Your System?

Clonazepam is a popular medication that is most commonly associated with treatment for panic disorder, but the medication was originally developed as a treatment

Nutrafol Review: Are These Hair Supplements Effective?

Nutrafol is a telehealth company that offers a range of hair supplements for both men and women. Are these supplements effective, though?

What is Sertraline and What are the Side Effects?

Sertraline is the generic form of Zoloft, a medication that belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs like