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Considering online psychiatry? Our picks for the best online psychiatry services can make your search easier.

Telepsychiatry — aka online psychiatric care — provides you with an opportunity to connect with a psychiatrist online for evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health conditions.

Finding the right psychiatrist isn’t always easy. You’ll want to find someone who provides quality care and offers the right treatment, of course, but you may also have more practical considerations:

  • Are they affordable?
  • Do they accept my insurance?
  • Can they treat people in my area?
  • What do reviewers have to say?

This research can feel daunting enough when you aren’t also dealing with mental health symptoms.

Our recommendations for the 7 best online psychiatry providers aim to answer these questions so you can find the support you need as quickly as possible.

Like therapy, psychiatry is a form of mental healthcare. Both therapists and psychiatrists offer guidance toward improving your mental health and emotional well-being. These mental health professionals have different experience and training, though, so they provide different types of support:

  • Therapists focus on various types of talk therapy and typically can’t prescribe medication.
  • Psychiatrists have a medical degree as well as mental health training. They can prescribe medication and other treatments.

Online psychiatry works in much the same way as a face-to-face appointment — except, of course, you won’t need to leave your home.

When it’s time for your first appointment, you’ll want to get comfortable in a quiet, private room. Once you’ve logged in to a secure video chat or the psychiatry service’s platform, your psychiatrist will join you.

This first appointment serves as a consultation or evaluation, so they’ll ask about:

  • current symptoms
  • any medications you’re taking
  • your medical history
  • past mental health diagnoses
  • treatments that have and haven’t worked for you

You may have some symptoms that don’t seem connected to your primary concern. Still, it’s best to share them with your psychiatrist anyway — they could offer important clues for the right diagnosis.

Generally speaking, professional support is recommended when your symptoms begin to affect daily life and relationships, and keep you from functioning as you usually would.

Psychiatric care may have an advantage over therapy if you’re considering adding medication to your treatment plan. Your current therapist or primary care provider may recommend a psychiatrist if you’d like to try managing mental health symptoms with medication.

Other reasons to consider talking with a psychiatrist:

  • You haven’t seen much relief from therapy alone.
  • You’re hoping to get a psychiatric diagnosis.
  • You’re experiencing serious mental health symptoms, including mood episodes, psychosis, a sense of disconnection from reality, or severe depression.
  • Your current medication isn’t working and you’d like to try something different.

There’s no denying online healthcare can increase access to treatment while COVID-19 safety precautions and distancing guidelines remain in place.

Online psychiatry can also have a lot of benefit when you:

  • can’t find a provider locally
  • have limited mobility
  • lack reliable transportation and child care
  • have symptoms that make it difficult to leave home
  • can’t afford an in-person appointment — telemental healthcare tends to cost a little less than an office visit

If you tend to imagine psychiatric care as something that takes place within a secure doctor’s office, you may wonder whether online psychiatry services can actually help.

Plenty of evidence suggests telepsychiatry can be an effective approach to treatment — even without taking a pandemic into account.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, online psychiatric care and in-person care are equal in terms of:

  • accuracy of diagnosis
  • effectiveness of treatment
  • privacy and confidentiality
  • care quality
  • client satisfaction

The organization also describes telepsychiatry as “a validated and effective practice of medicine that increases access to care” and notes that people of all ages can benefit.

Several studies also highlight ways online psychiatry, or online mental healthcare in general, can make a difference for treatment outcomes:

  • Research from 2017 reviewed 25 articles on different types of telemental healthcare, including telepsychiatry. The study authors describe online mental healthcare as a cost-effective, efficient approach that improves outcomes for people living with mental health conditions.
  • A 2019 literature review looked at 24 studies on different telepsychology interventions for anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, or adjustment disorder. The authors found evidence to support the effectiveness of online or telephone-based mental healthcare.
  • Research from 2019 suggests telepsychiatry may increase satisfaction with care for veterans living with PTSD. Online psychiatric care both removes the need to travel to appointments and offers the chance to discuss symptoms in an environment that feels more comfortable and secure.
  • Research from 2020 looked at 14 studies involving adults receiving online care for major depression. The results suggest participants were at least as satisfied with their care as those receiving in-person treatment and saw similar levels of relief from depression symptoms.

To create our list of the top online psychiatry services, we considered the following:

  • Provider qualifications. These services all connect you with licensed psychiatrists.
  • Privacy and confidentiality. These services comply with HIPAA laws and use other tools to protect your data and secure information.
  • User reviews. We considered user feedback to find out whether others generally found these online psychiatry services useful.
  • Network. With one exception, all of our picks are available throughout the United States.
  • Ease of use. You can access these services from your computer or via smartphone app.

Best overall

Doctor on Demand

  • Cost: $299 for initial consultation, $129 for 15-minute follow-ups
  • Accepts insurance? Yes
  • Therapy format: Video
  • Choice of provider: Yes

A little uncertain about what the symptoms you’re experiencing could mean? Try Doctor on Demand’s free mental health assessment to get more insight before choosing from their many experienced psychiatrists.

You can make an appointment for any day of the week. Although wait times can vary, appointments are often available within a few days. Reviews for the app average 4.9 out of 5 stars, suggesting many users feel very satisfied with their care.

Visit Doctor on Demand.

Best for anxiety and depression

Brightside

  • Cost: Varies, starts at $95 per month for psychiatry
  • Accepts insurance? No, but HSA/FSA payments are accepted
  • Therapy format: Video, messaging
  • Choice of provider: No, but switching is possible

Brightside psychiatrists focus on providing support for anxiety and depression, so this service may offer an affordable care option if you have symptoms of these common mental health conditions.

After a short assessment, you’ll connect with a psychiatrist to talk about your symptoms and develop a treatment plan. Brightside subscribers also have access to a self-care program, and you can add therapy services for an additional fee.

Customer testimonials praise Brightside’s convenient, accessible support. Brightside isn’t yet available in all states, but the service does have psychiatrists licensed to practice in 37 states.

Visit Brightside.

Best for treating a range of mental health concerns

Amwell

  • Cost: $279 for initial consultation, $109 for 15-minute follow-ups
  • Accepts insurance? Yes
  • Therapy format: Video
  • Choice of provider: Yes

Amwell provides psychiatric care for several mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder, PTSD, eating disorders, and insomnia, as well as depression and anxiety conditions.

This service can usually connect you with a psychiatrist in less than 2 weeks. If typical business hours don’t work for your schedule, you can easily schedule a weekend or evening appointment.

While user reviews aren’t limited to psychiatry services, the app does have an average 4.9 star rating, and many people praise the quality of care.

Visit Amwell.

Best for flexible scheduling

Teladoc

  • Cost: Varies, starts at $99 per visit
  • Accepts insurance? Yes
  • Therapy format: Phone, video
  • Choice of provider: Yes

Teladoc psychiatrists offer support for a range of mental health conditions, including addiction, PTSD, anxiety, and depression. The service’s pricing could be clearer, but insurance may help offset the cost or fully cover your appointment.

Need an appointment outside typical office hours? You can connect with a Teladoc psychiatrist between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., on any day of the week. Your provider will work with you to find an appointment slot that fits your availability and preferred times.

While Teladoc earns mixed reviews, website testimonials suggest many people find their psychiatric services both convenient and helpful.

Visit Teladoc.

Best for children and teens

MDLive

  • Cost: $284 for initial consultation, $108 for follow-up visits
  • Accepts insurance? Yes
  • Therapy format: Phone, video
  • Choice of provider: Yes

Many online psychiatry services only offer care to adults 18 years of age or older. MDLive also provides psychiatric care to children over age 10.

Psychiatrists offer treatment for several mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and bipolar disorder. Once you choose a psychiatrist, you can generally schedule an appointment for yourself or your child within just a few days.

Trustpilot users give MDLive an average of 4.7 stars, with many people praising the service and quality of care.

Visit MDLive.

Best for a fast appointment

Talkspace Psychiatry

  • Cost: $199 for initial consultation, $125 for follow-up visits
  • Accepts insurance? Yes
  • Therapy format: Video
  • Choice of provider: No, but you can switch

If you’ve ever looked into online therapy, you’ve likely heard of Talkspace. This telemental health service also offers psychiatric care online and via smartphone app. You can even combine psychiatry services with therapy.

Talkspace aims to help you get support quickly. The service matches you with a psychiatrist as soon as you sign up, so you can make an appointment immediately for anywhere from 48 hours to 3 weeks away.

Many people find Talkspace helpful, convenient, and easy to use. In fact, it’s earned some of the highest ratings among telemental health services.

Visit Talkspace Psychiatry.

Best for a tight budget

Rethink My Therapy

  • Cost: $99 per month
  • Accepts insurance? No
  • Therapy format: Video, phone, messaging
  • Choice of provider: Yes

With Rethink My Therapy, your monthly subscription fee covers unlimited appointments (based on your psychiatrist’s availability). You can often get an appointment within a week of scheduling, and many providers offer evening and weekend appointments.

This service offers support for a number of conditions, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The company also offers relationship and family counseling plans. Adults and teens ages 13 and up can access online psychiatric care.

Thinking of trying it out? Take advantage of the company’s 7-day trial to see how it works for you.

Visit Rethink My Therapy.

Accessing mental health support at home can make it easier to focus your energy on coping, and many people find online psychiatry an affordable, convenient treatment approach.

Telepsychiatry may not help in all cases, though. If you have symptoms of psychosis, persistent thoughts of suicide or self-harm, or severe mood episodes, an online psychiatrist may encourage you to seek in-person support.

Psychiatrists practicing in your area may also offer online appointments or combine in-person visits with online care. So, even if online psychiatry services won’t work for your needs, you could still have options for more accessible, convenient care.

Coping with suicidal thoughts

If you’re in crisis or experiencing suicidal thoughts, help is always available.

  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255.
  • If you’re not in the United States, you can find a helpline in your country at Befrienders Worldwide.
  • You can also call or visit your nearest emergency room or psychiatric care center to speak with a mental health professional.