Best Telepsychiatry Services

Take care of your mental health.

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Telemedicine has not only increased in popularity but in quality as well. While some people are skeptical about the quality of care provided via telehealth through online portals, clients and professionals are able to have the exact same conversations online just as they would face-to-face. Apps and online portals are HIPAA compliant, and patient information is encrypted to ensure privacy. Online psychiatry offers the same quality of care with the added convenience of never having to leave the comfort of home. 

Because finding a good psychiatrist can be difficult and time-consuming, we compared the best online psychiatrists to help you determine the best fit.

Best Online Psychiatrists of 2021

Help Is Here

Looking for a few other options? See our best online therapy programs where you can easily talk to a licensed mental health professional.

Best Overall : Doctor On Demand


Doctor on Demand

Doctor on Demand

Why We Chose It: We chose Doctor On Demand because of its 24/7 access and the wide range of psychiatrists you can choose from.

What We Like
  • 24/7 availability

  • Free health assessment

  • Many psychiatrists available to choose from

  • Providers are board certified and have years of previous experience

What We Don’t Like
  • Video chat only, texting service not offered

  • Services charged per use; may be expensive if you need more assistance

  • Expensive if not covered by insurance

  • No option to bundle services for lower rates

Doctor On Demand offers an array of telemedicine options including urgent care, chronic pain management, and behavioral health. Doctor On Demand has a network of thousands of providers that have an average of 15 years or more experience in their respective fields. This program offers a free assessment to help you determine what services would be best suited for your specific situation.

Doctor On Demand uses its own app you can download for video chats and provides patients with access to its providers 24/7. There are no texting or messaging services available through this app, so all contact is done through video chats only.

Since this service is not subscription-based, it’s helpful for short-term problems, but more in-depth or long-term care issues may become expensive if you do not have insurance.  Without insurance, an initial psychiatric appointment is about $299 with 15-minute follow-up appointments for roughly $129. There are steps you can take through the app to see if your employer or health insurance covers all or part of the services provided.

Best Budget : ReThink My Therapy


ReThink My Therapy

ReThink My Therapy

Why We Chose It: We like that ReThink My Therapy is a subscription-based model offering low-cost appointments for people looking for long-term psychiatric care.

What We Like
  • Free 7-day trial

  • Focuses solely on mental health

  • You choose what specialist you want

  • Appointments scheduled in 7 days or less

What We Don’t Like
  • No text therapy, only video and audio

  • Insurance not accepted

  • Must subscribe to see psychiatrist

  • No on-demand services

ReThink My Therapy is a real bargain if you are looking to bundle talk therapy and psychiatric services, which is ideal for those who may need more long-term assistance rather than short-term care. ReThink is also one of the few telemedicine providers that focuses solely on mental health rather than the entire medical field. Psychiatric appointments are available to adults and teenagers aged 13 and over.

This is a subscription-based program so costs are predictable each month, making it easier to fit into your budget. Because it is a subscription-only service, you cannot schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist without buying a subscription, unlike the fee-for-service programs.

A Single plan is about $99 per month and offers no copay and access to 24/7 care; a Couples plan is roughly $129 per month and includes what's offered in the Single plan but with two individual accounts and the ability to schedule both joint and solo sessions; a Family/Children plan is around $150 per month and includes everything in the Single plan with up to four individual accounts, as well as unlimited access to interactive learning, webinars, and communities.

There is no limit to how many sessions you can book each month, but they are based on provider availability. Typically, clients opt for between two and five sessions per month.

Best for Combined Talk Therapy and Psychiatry : Talkspace


Talkspace

Talkspace

Why We Chose It: Talkspace stands out for not only offering psychiatry services but online therapy, as well.

What We Like
  • Large network of providers

  • Able to schedule appointments quickly

  • Simple sign-up process

  • Text messaging option available

What We Don’t Like
  • Not covered by most insurance

  • You are matched with a doctor; no personal choice

  • Follow up visits are more expensive than other sites

Made famous by Michael Phelps, Talkspace was one of the first teletherapy services to introduce texting and messaging into the therapy world. Originally developed to connect people with licensed therapists in an affordable and more available format, Talkspace has expanded to psychiatry services for medication management needs. 

Talkspace employs both psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners for medication prescription and ongoing management. After filling out a short assessment, Talkspace will match you with a psychiatrist or nurse practitioner in your state.

Fees for psychiatric appointments are session-based rather than subscription-based, unlike Talkspace's online therapy format. An initial session is roughly $199 and follow-up sessions are about $125.

Best for Scheduling : MD Live


MD Live

MD Live

Why We Chose It: While you can't schedule appointments on-demand, psychiatrists are available 24/7 which means fitting them into your schedule is easy.

What We Like
  • Accepts insurance

  • Easy to sign up and schedule

  • You choose your provider

  • Available 24/7 for appointments

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive without insurance

  • Fewer providers in network

  • No on-demand appointments available for psychiatry

  • Fewer medical specialties offered than other networks

MD Live provides many medical services ranging from general health concerns to dermatology to mental health and psychiatry. Registering with MD Live is very simple and only takes about 15 minutes. Once registered, scroll through their list of doctors and choose who you would like to speak with. 

While it offers appointments on-demand for medical and dermatology, there are no psychiatrist appointments available on-demand, so you will need to schedule an appointment. However, doctors are available 24/7, so arranging an appointment time can be done to fit your work and life schedule. 

If it is determined that medication would be helpful, a psychiatrist can have your prescription sent to a pharmacy of your choice. MD Live can be expensive if you do not have insurance: An initial psychiatric evaluation is about $284 with follow-up sessions costing roughly $108; however, MD Live does accept most insurance plans. This is not a subscription-based service, so you pay for each session as you go.

Best for Flexibility : Amwell


Amwell

Amwell

Why We Chose It: We selected Amwell because it prioritizes getting your appointments booked within a 24- to 48-hour window.

What We Like
  • Doctors available 24/7

  • Takes insurance

  • Select your own therapist

  • Appointments can usually be scheduled very quickly

What We Don’t Like
  • Fewer doctors and therapists available compared to other sites

  • Expensive without insurance

  • Some users report technical difficulties

Amwell is known for its ability to schedule appointments quickly with as little wait time as possible. Psychiatric services and appointment scheduling are available to both adults and minors. Signing up is a simple process, and scheduling appointments is also quick and easy. Most users reported getting an appointment within 24 to 48 hours, on average, and Amwell doctors are available 24/7.

Amwell does not offer a subscription, but it is covered by most insurance plans. Its app and website make it easy to see if your employer or insurance covers part or all of the costs. An initial psychiatric assessment costs about $279 while follow-up visits are roughly $108.

Amwell psychiatrists are able to collaborate with your primary care physician in case you need certain medications that cannot be prescribed via telehealth. Amwell can even send treatment plans and recommendations to your primary care physician to ensure better overall care and collaboration.

Best Mobile App : Teladoc


Teladoc

Teladoc

Why We Chose It: We liked Teladoc because its mobile app and interface are easy to use.

What We Like
  • You choose your provider

  • Easy to collaborate with your PCP

  • Many insurance plans accepted

  • Simple, easy-to-use app

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive without insurance

  • Not ideal for long-term care

  • Text messaging not available

  • No on-demand appointments

Get access to thousands of qualified medical and mental health professionals through Teledoc. To get started, either download the Teledoc app, call their customer service line, or get started on the website. Teledoc shines in its ability to make the world of telemedicine simple and user-friendly. 

Teledoc uses an app to connect you with the medical specialist you need. After filling out a short intake assessment, most users are able to see a psychiatrist within a week of requesting an appointment. With consent, medical specialists can instantly share records or treatment assessments with your primary care physician, increasing collaboration and quality of care. 

Teledoc accepts most insurance plans as well as self-pay options through credit cards and PayPal. This is not a subscription-based service, so you pay only for what you need. Even though Teledoc accepts insurance, you will need to check with your provider to find out exactly how much it covers and if you have to pay a percentage or a copay. On a self-pay basis, an initial psychiatric visit costs about $229 and $119 for follow-up visits.

Best All-Around Care : Live Health Online


Live Online Help

Live Online Help

Why We Chose It: We selected Live Health Online because it covers much more than just psychiatry and also is affordable if you're not insured.

What We Like
  • You choose the provider

  • Flexible appointment options

  • Lower self-pay cost

  • Accepts insurance

What We Don’t Like
  • Psychiatric services are for adults only

  • Video chats only, no audio or messaging

  • May have to wait up to 14 days for an initial session

  • No bundle packages offered

Live Health Online offers an array of specialists in telemedicine including medical doctors, allergy specialists, licensed therapists, and psychiatrists. Signing up is free, and you pay only for the sessions you need.

Live Health Online has thousands of board-certified psychiatrists to choose from, and most doctors are available on days, nights, and weekends, which makes scheduling appointments easier for people with demanding schedules.  

This is a good option if you are looking for a psychiatrist only and not a talk therapy and psychiatry bundle. This service is more affordable even on a self-pay basis than other sites. An initial psychiatric visit costs about $175 while follow-up visits are $75. Even with the lower self-pay costs, your insurance or employer may be able to cover some or all of the expense.

Best for Prescriptions : Cerebral


Cerebral

Cerebral

Why We Chose It: We chose Cerebral because of its convenience; it uses an in-house pharmacy, so prescriptions go directly through them.

What We Like
  • Most convenient model

  • Designed for those who need more long-term care

  • Medications mailed directly to you

  • Unlimited messaging with providers

What We Don’t Like
  • New company, still expanding

  • Not available in all states

  • Not covered by insurance

  • They match you with a provider; no personal choice

Cerebral is a new option in the field of telehealth and focuses specifically on mental health needs.

Launched in January of 2020, this subscription-based service offers plans ranging from about $85 to roughly $325 per month. (Note: Medication is billed separately.) Clients are able to choose plans that offer just talk therapy or ones that include medication and talk therapy as a bundled package. 

A unique aspect of this company is its use of “care counselors” who check in with your progress on mindfulness, emotional growth, and medication management, though they are not licensed therapists. Another unique feature is that Cerebral is able to mail medications to you rather than calling prescriptions into a local pharmacy. 

Cerebral is not available yet in all states and accepts very few insurance plans. It can provide you with an insurance reimbursement receipt if you have out-of-network coverage. The company is expanding its network of providers so you will need to research availability in your state.

Final Verdict

When considering online psychiatric help, it is important to review the doctor’s qualifications and experience to ensure high-quality care. Programs like Doctor On Demand and Amwell allow you to browse doctors’ profiles and choose the professional you want to work with. These platforms also make it easy to change doctors if needed. Choosing a service that makes collaborating with your primary care physician quick and easy (like Teledoc and MDLine) ensures a higher quality of overall care. 

While many of these platforms work with insurance plans, it is important to research the cost and what percentage of the fee is covered to avoid any surprises. If you are planning to self-pay, a subscription-based plan will be much more cost-effective. Talkspace has an affordable and convenient platform with a quick response time, since text messaging is enabled as a communication option. For a family or couples plan, Rethink MyTherapy has very affordable options that make budgeting much easier.

Compare Providers

Company Format Cost Accepts Insurance Appointment Availability Geographic Restrictions
Doctor on Demand Best Overall Video $299 Initial $129 follow Yes 24/7 None
MD Live Best Budget Video/phone $284 initial $108 follow Yes 24/7 None
Talkspace Best for Combined Talk Therapy and Psychiatry Video $199 initial $125 follow No Varies by provider None
Teladoc Best for Scheduling Video/phone $229 initial $119 follow Yes 7 days/week 7am–9pm None
Amwell Best for Flexibility Video/phone $279 initial $108 follow Yes 24/7
Live Health Online Best Mobile App Video $175 initial $75 follow Yes 24/7 None
ReThink My Therapy Best All-Around Care Video/phone $99–$129/ month No Varies by provider None
Cerebral Best for Prescriptions Video/phone $85– $325/month No Varies by provider Not available in all states

FAQs

Are Online Psychiatrists Legit?

Online Psychiatrists are just as qualified as those you would see in-person. All psychiatrists graduate from medical school and are board-certified. Look for years of experience in a doctor’s profile to ensure you are getting an experienced professional.

Can Controlled Substances Be Prescribed by Online Providers?

Controlled substances cannot be prescribed through online providers. Benzodiazepines (Xanax), stimulants (Ritalin and Adderall), and opioids (pain killers) are only able to be prescribed through an in-office visit.

What Should I Expect During an Appointment With an Online Psychiatrist?

The process is exactly the same via telehealth as it is in-office. You will schedule an initial appointment for a psychiatric evaluation that is usually 45 minutes to an hour long. Follow-up visits are usually 15 minutes to check on progress, if any medication adjustments are needed, and to obtain refill prescriptions if necessary. 

What Conditions Can Online Psychiatrists Help With?

Online psychiatrists can help with depression, anxiety, bipolar, OCD, insomnia, and trauma-related disorders. ADHD symptoms can be addressed through talk therapy online, but most medications for this disorder will need an in-office visit. Online psychiatrists are best for addressing non-emergency mental health struggles. If you or someone you know is in a crisis situation, call 911, the suicide hotline, or go to the emergency room at your nearest hospital. 

What Is the Difference Between Teletherapy and Telepsychiatry?

Through teletherapy services, you can work with a licensed mental health counselor to improve mental health through talk therapy practices. Tele-psychiatry is for medication management and prescriptions only. Both teletherapy and telepsychiatry services can be used together to improve the management of symptoms from mental health struggles.

Methodology

In order to determine the best telepsychiatry options available, we looked at multiple data points including the sign-up process, means of communication, cost comparison, average wait time for initial appointments, convenience, and professional qualifications (including years of experience in the field). 

We also assessed how user-friendly various apps and platforms are and customer service assistance available for those struggling with the technology. The cancellation process, the ability to use insurance to help cover costs, and the opportunity to choose your own provider were also considered when evaluating the aspects of each service program.

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  1. Cerebral. "Cerebral Is Now Available Everywhere in the U.S.!" Accessed Nov. 30, 2021.