Best Online Psychiatry

Teladoc is the best online psychiatry

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products. Healthcare professionals review articles for medical accuracy. Learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Online psychiatry, aka telepsychiatry, has become a mainstream modality for mental health treatment. Its appeal is understandable given ongoing difficulties in accessing affordable, quality mental health care in the United States. Online psychiatry provides high-quality psychiatric treatment to those in need, particularly in areas with provider shortages or trouble accessing insurance networks. 

Given the growing list of available websites with varying therapy specialties, we tasked our research team and testers to find the best online psychiatry options, including surveying over a hundred users from each of our finalists. Below we outline the best providers for varying needs to ensure there is truly something for everyone on this list.

Best Online Psychiatry of 2023

Why Trust Us
55
Companies reviewed
5,775
Total users surveyed
350
Data points analyzed
We surveyed 105 users from each online therapy company and asked the companies to complete questionnaires. Then, we tested the services ourselves, conducted comprehensive data collection research, and evaluated our results with the help of three licensed therapists.

Best Overall : Teladoc Health


  • Price: $99 per therapy session, $209 for initial psychiatry appointment and $109 per follow-up
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes. 60 different insurance plans accepted
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry
Why We Chose It

Teladoc is the total package: highly accessible, easy to use, affordable, accepts insurance, and offers a broad network of well-qualified mental health providers who also boast the highest ratings for a caring attitude on our list.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Easy-to-use platform

  • Accepts insurance

  • Excellent provider network with good availability

  • Providers rated highly for caring, respectful attitudes

Cons
  • Can be costly without insurance coverage

  • No controlled substance prescribing (e.g. Xanax, Valium)

  • Same-day appointments may not be available 24/7

Overview

Teladoc is one of the oldest telehealth companies reviewed, with 20 years of experience, and offers access to other medical specialties as well as mental health therapy and psychiatry, such as primary care, pediatrics, and more. 

Access to both licensed psychotherapy and board-certified psychiatry is available seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visits are reportedly scheduled within one week after completion of a mental health screening questionnaire. A secure messaging center is available on the website and app for after-visit notes, follow-up care, and questions.

Psychiatry and medication management are available for individuals ages 13 and up. Controlled substances are not prescribed, so this site may not be ideal for people with ADHD or other conditions requiring those types of medications.

Plans & Pricing

If you’re using insurance to access Teladoc’s services, you will only pay a copay for visits, which varies depending on your provider. If you’re paying out-of-pocket, the pricing is:

  • $99 per session for all therapy visits
  • $299 for the initial psychiatry consultation; $119 per session for follow-ups

 Appointments are pay-per-visit, which may be costly if frequent sessions are required and/or if your insurance does not cover service. Payment is required up front via credit card or Paypal.

User Satisfaction

Teladoc was rated the highest or near the highest in nearly all important categories on our user survey, with an incredible 97% of users reporting overall satisfaction with the service, and 92% rating its psychiatry and medication management services positively. Users also praised its accessibility, provider availability, and insurance coverage.

Users also found the platform easy to use (in part thanks to its convenient app); it received 82% positive ratings. Ninety-four percent of users reported the service had well-qualified providers, 90% reported they were satisfied with the diversity of providers, and 87% said the service was a good value for money. Perhaps most importantly, Teladoc received high ratings for responsive, caring, and respectful attitudes of providers: 92% of users rated their prescriber’s bedside manner positively. It was also one of the highest rated services users said they’d recommend to a friend, at 86%.

Best for Substance Use : Monument


  • Price: $0 to $249 per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Group Therapy, Medication Management, Peer Support
Why We Chose It

Monument has centered its well-designed online platform for therapy and medication around treatment of alcohol use disorder.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Specialized focus on alcohol use disorder

  • Well-coordinated therapy and psychiatric services

  • Some plans have unlimited physician consults, including messaging

Cons
  • Only non-controlled anti-craving medications prescribed

  • No built-in referral network to inpatient rehab

  • Therapists not as involved and supportive as other sites

Overview

Monument is a specialized telepsychiatry platform for people with alcohol use disorder and as such, is better suited for its unique treatment needs. The platform encourages a multidisciplinary team approach by assigning each client both a therapist and a physician for medication management. Access to therapist-moderated support groups and a 24/7 community forum are available for free. 

The program emphasizes a limited set of non-controlled substances to help with alcohol cravings, such as disulfiram and naltrexone, an approach that may not be ideal for everyone, especially people with more severe alcohol dependence or withdrawal issues, or other accompanying psychiatric conditions.

Referral and access to more intensive levels of services (such as residential or inpatient treatment) is not mentioned on the site, even though some people with alcohol use disorder may sometimes need such referrals. This site also only focuses on alcohol and not any other comorbid substance use disorders which may be present.

Plans & Pricing

Several different monthly plans are available, which include more visits and access to treatment providers (therapy and/or medication management) depending on budget and clinical needs. Monument has three plans: 

  • Physician Care: $10 a month plus $45 per appointment; includes one appointment with a doctor per month (additional sessions available for $45 each), medication management, and unlimited messaging with the doctor
  • Total Care (Biweekly): $149 a month; includes two 45-minute therapy sessions a month, unlimited appointments with a doctor, medication management, and unlimited messaging with both the doctor and therapist
  • Total Care (Weekly): $249 a month; includes everything in the Total Care (Biweekly) plan, but with four 45-minute therapy sessions monthly instead of two
User Satisfaction

Perhaps partly due to the care plan you choose, or the more limited therapeutic focus, Monument’s ratings for therapists’ availability and supportive/listening attitude are somewhat lower than those of the other companies in our survey. In all, 78% of users reported overall satisfaction with their experience at Monument, and 75% rated its psychiatry and medication management services positively.

In addition, 69% rated prescriber qualifications positively and 74% rated prescriber bedside manner positively. When it came to cost, 57% of users surveyed said they found Monument’s services very affordable or affordable, while 5% said they found its services not at all affordable. Finally, 65% of users surveyed said they’d recommend Monument’s psychiatry and medication management services to a friend.

Best for Anxiety and Depression : Brightside


  • Price: $95-$349
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry
Why We Chose It 

Brightside has a streamlined, coordinated treatment plan for anxiety and depression, and its monthly subscription service is available in all 50 states.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Coordinated platform for therapy and med management

  • Primary focus on depression and anxiety

  • Available in all 50 states

Cons
  • Adults only (18 and over)

  • Excludes more severe psychiatric conditions

  • Provider is selected for you

Overview

Brightside is an appealingly comprehensive mental health telepsychiatry site incorporating online access to psychotherapy and psychiatry services in all 50 states. It focuses mainly on the most common psychiatric diagnoses: anxiety and depression. 

After you complete free assessment questionnaire and select a monthly flat-fee plan, you'll be assigned a treatment provider. Therapy is accessible via weekly video sessions and additional a la carte sessions (for an additional fee) as needed, as well as unlimited messaging (with a 24 to 48 hour response time on weekends). 

Psychiatry is available via additional video sessions. Treatment is targeted toward modalities and medications that address anxiety and depression, including app-based exercises to use on your own and symptom progress trackers. However, controlled substances (such as Xanax or other benzodiazepines) are not prescribed, so for more severe or specific diagnoses that require them, Brightside may not be ideal.

Plans & Pricing

Brightside offers three plans, which all include a 12-week self-care syllabus.

  • Medication only: $95/month for one 15-minute psychiatric evaluation a month, monthly medication delivery, and ongoing provider support, including medication adjustments
  • Therapy only: $299/month for unlimited messaging and four monthly sessions with your therapist; additional appointments available for $59 per session
  • Therapy and medication: $349/month; includes everything in the two other plans
User Satisfaction

Brightside was rated highly by our surveyed users. Overall, 93% of users rated the medication management and psychiatry services as good, very good, or excellent. In addition, 60% said medication was available when they needed it, and 38% said psychiatrists were available to answer questions. However, only 19% thought the psychiatric sessions were long enough for their needs.

What’s more, 83% of users said they’d recommend Brightside’s psychiatry and medication management services to a friend, and the same percentage rated prescriber qualifications as good, very good, or excellent.

Best for Medication Management and Bipolar Disorder : Talkiatry


  • Price: Depends on your insurance
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes. BCBS, Cigna, United Health, Aetna, Tricare, Medicare, and others
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry
Why We Chose It

Talkiatry highlights the model of all-in-one care (therapy and medication management) that psychiatrists can provide within its prescreened insurance network.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Therapy and medication management from one provider

  • Longer session times

  • Mostly highly trained psychiatrists on staff

  • Broad variety of diagnoses treated

Cons
  • No controlled substances prescribed

  • No designated therapists other than your psychiatrist

  • Only available in 19 states

  • Limitations on some severe diagnoses

Overview

Talkiatry is one of the few sites that specifically emphasizes psychiatric care from board-certified psychiatrists. These specialists are the most highly trained in mental health care from a comprehensive medical and biopsychosocial perspective. At many other companies, psychiatric nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants primarily provide medication management for psychiatric patients. This company notes that medication should be considered a viable treatment option, and if patients are not comfortable with that, this may not be the ideal platform for them. 

Psychiatrists are often more comfortable handling a wider array of mental health diagnoses, and this company provides care for people with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and more. Accordingly, Talkiatry is better suited than some others for patients with bipolar disorder, which can require more advanced and nuanced psychopharmacologic training for its management. 

Child psychiatry is also available, which is another crucial care shortage area for mental health treatment. However, the site does not recommend online treatment for some psychiatric diagnoses such as schizophrenia, substance use, and eating disorders and says that its services are more appropriate for “mild to moderate mental health issues.” 

You can select from an open list of providers or peruse suggested matches. Most initial visits occur within a week. Visits are at least 60 minutes for initial evaluation and 30 minutes for follow up, which is longer than is typical for in-person insurance-based psychiatry visits. In Talkiatry’s Healow app, you can send direct messages to your prescriber and get responses within 48 hours.

Plans & Pricing

Talkiatry only accepts patients via health insurance. It takes most insurance plans and automatically screens for approval. Even with insurance, accessing in-person psychiatric care can be difficult due to limited and outdated network listings with long waiting lists. Talkiatry helps with that, although the service is not available in all states yet and in some areas have more limited prescriber listings. There are no subscription costs; the service uses a pay-per-visit model. To see an estimate of your copay before signing up, you can input your insurance information.

User Satisfaction

Talkiatry was one of the highest rated companies in terms of whether users would recommend the service to a friend, at 87%. Of users surveyed, 95% said their overall experience at Talkiatry was good, very good, or excellent, and 89% rated its psychiatry and medication management services as good, very good, or excellent. It also was one of the highest for finding connecting to a therapist helpful, with an over 90% positive rating. In addition, 86% rated prescriber qualifications positively, and 85% rated prescriber bedside manner positively.

Best for Patient Support : Talkspace


  • Price: $276 - $516 monthly
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It 

Talkspace emphasizes easy and frequent accessibility to its experienced mental health treatment providers via a text-based platform.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Easy-to-use, accessible platform

  • Treats wide range of mental health diagnoses

  • Large network of providers available in most states

Cons
  • Text-based therapy is not ideal for everyone

  • Service can be costly if you pay out-of-pocket

  • Provider assigned to you from a small number of preselected choices

Overview

Talkspace is one of the better-known online mental health services out there. That's due in part to its well-designed website and easy-to-use app, which works well especially with users who are text-savvy. 

Access to care is one of Talkspace’s major strengths, with well-qualified therapists and psychiatric providers available within 48 hours after completing a brief assessment questionnaire. After you are assigned a provider, you can message your therapist anytime via the app.  

Talkspace has a particularly broad network of therapists, which helps in terms of accessing more specialized care for certain diagnoses, including eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and more. Psychiatrists are accessible via video visits and can prescribe medication for you. However, while mainly text-based therapy is appealing for some, it can feel more impersonal and emotionally disconnected for many others and isn’t always the ideal standard for mental health care.

Plans & Pricing

Talkspace’s fees are higher than many other platforms (and not inclusive of both therapy and psychiatry services), with a smaller number of insurance plans accepted. That means its services may be out of reach for many due to cost, and are not suited for those who want medication management without a designated therapist. 

Talkspace offers three therapy plans:

  • Messaging Therapy: From $69/week, includes unlimited messaging with daily therapist responses five days a week
  • Live Therapy: From $99/week, includes four live therapy sessions a month via live chat, phone, or video
  • Live + Messaging Therapy: From $129/week, includes messaging and four live sessions

Talkspace’s psychiatry services are not included in any of its subscription plans, and are treated as an add-on service. An initial psychiatric evaluation costs $249 per session and lasts between 20 and 90 minutes. Follow-up appointments are $125 each. If medication is prescribed, that will be an additional cost.

User Satisfaction

Talkspace was rated one of the easiest to navigate in our user survey at 82% positive. It also rated highly for well-qualified providers, at over 90%. It was one of the highest rated platforms for patients feeling much better afterward and for flexible scheduling. Also, this site had one of the best ratings for prescriber availability, and 93% of users rated prescriber qualifications highly.

Of users surveyed, 90% rated both the overall experience at Talkspace and the platform’s psychiatry and medication management services as good, very good, or excellent. Overall, 95% of users said they’d recommend Talkspace’s psychiatry and medication management services to a friend or family member.

Best for 24/7 Service : Thriveworks


  • Price: Session rate varies by provider; $99 per session if not using insurance
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It 

Thriveworks offers a comprehensive and user-friendly telepsychiatry platform with some of the best accessibility to its well-qualified providers and frequent support.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Frequent availability and access to providers

  • Q&A coach available 24/7

  • Accepts most major insurance plans

Cons
  • Access to med management not available in all states

  • Membership fee charged in addition to per-session fees

  • Platform more disjointed when coordinating with med management

Overview

Thriveworks highly touts its accessibility, which is a key advantage for online psychiatry platforms. The company notes that it can match you with a qualified therapist and psychiatrist via its centralized booking service and have you seen within 48 hours, with a wide national network available and most insurance plans accepted.

Therapists are available at most hours and for frequent sessions. Additional coaching services are also available 24/7. However, the network of psychiatrists and prescribers is not as comprehensive as the therapist network and is limited to 30 states.

Plans & Pricing

Pricing is a bit confusing; there is a monthly membership fee of $39 (at “most offices,” depending on the state) in addition to fees for each treatment session: $10 to $40 per session with insurance, $65 to $140 without insurance for therapy; higher fees are likely for medication management. If needed, the monthly membership fee can be waived.

User Satisfaction

Despite the higher accessibility of the platform (rated the highest for prescriber accessibility at 68%), in our user survey, Thriveworks also had slightly higher rates of some negative characteristics, such as prescribers being more difficult to talk to and clients not having as much input into treatment decisions.

Overall, 90% of users reported satisfaction with their Thriveworks experience, and an incredible 98% of users rated its psychiatry and medication management services positively. What’s more, 88% of users rated prescriber qualifications positively and 93% said they’d recommend Thriveworks’ psychiatry and medication management services to a friend.

Best for Multiple Diagnoses : Doctor on Demand


  • Price: $129-$179 per session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It

Doctor on Demand has a comprehensive, highly accessible mental health platform with quick access to providers and a collaborative care model.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Collaborative care encouraged between treatment providers 

  • 24/7 access to coaching support

  • No subscription fees

  • Quick appointment access

Cons
  • Controlled substances not available

  • Can be pricey if out of network

  • Scheduling issues may affect provider continuity

Overview

Doctor on Demand is a telehealth site that also offers mental health care services, including therapy and medication management. Overall, the selection of providers is broad with high satisfaction ratings and rapid access; the company offers treatment for a wide array of psychiatric diagnoses, although is not ideal for those (like people with ADHD) that may need controlled substances. 

After you complete a screening questionnaire, you'll receive recommendations for treatment as well as a list of providers to choose from. Doctor on Demand offers one of the fastest initial access times for a mental health provider: You can get an appointment within as little as five minutes, 24/7.

However, the tradeoff for that quick access is that the same provider may not be available for future visits as quickly or when you want. Also, appointments for psychiatrists or prescribing providers may be more difficult to obtain as quickly, with variable wait times (although most are within a week).

Plans & Pricing

At Doctor on Demand, there are no subscription fees: you pay per appointment. The service accepts insurance, but if you’re paying out of pocket, you can use a credit card, PayPal, health savings account (HSA), or flexible spending account (FSA). The out-of-pocket cost for psychiatry sessions is $299 for a 45-minute initial appointment; 15-minute follow-up sessions are $129 each. A 25-minute therapy session is $129; a 50-minute session is $179.

User Satisfaction

Overall, Doctor on Demand had high satisfaction ratings across several categories including ease of use of platform, responsive providers, and generally feeling all needs were met. Of users surveyed, 94% were satisfied with their overall experience at Doctor on Demand, and 84% rated its psychiatry and medication management services positively.

In addition, 90% of users rated prescriber qualifications highly, 85% rated their prescriber’s bedside manner as good, very good, or excellent. Users especially found their prescribers caring and conscientious: 76% said their provider took plenty of time in evaluating them, and 69% said their provider really listened to them. Finally, 81% said it was likely they would recommend Doctor on Demand’s psychiatry and medication management services to a friend or family member.

Best for Budget : LiveHealth Online


  • Price: $80-95 per therapy session; $175 or less for an initial psychiatry session; $75 per follow-up
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Children's Therapy, Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It 

LiveHealth offers one of the widest provider networks at one of the lowest costs, with an easy-to-use, comprehensive platform, and it covers most common psychiatric conditions.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Per-visit costs lower than many, even without insurance

  • Available in all 50 states

  • Covers most common psychiatric conditions

Cons
  • Doesn't take as many insurance plans as some other companies

  • Initial psychiatry visit may take up to 2 weeks to schedule

  • Controlled substances not available

Overview

LiveHealth Online is another well-organized, easy-to-use telehealth website offering mental health services in all 50 states in addition to other medical specialties via video. Psychiatric services are available to adults only.

Evening and weekend hours are available for appointments, as well as some 24/7 communication access to a provider on call, and a designated app. You can select your own provider from a vetted list. Like several other telehealth platforms, LiveHealth cannot prescribe controlled substances, so it is not ideal for people whose conditions may benefit from them.

Plans & Pricing

LiveHealth Online follows a pay-per-visit model with no monthly fees. It also has some of the lowest pricing, even without insurance, per visit. Several major insurance companies are also accepted, although not as many as some other sites.

Out-of-pocket, you’ll pay:

  • $80-$95 for talk therapy sessions, depending on your therapist’s level of experience
  • $175 for initial consultation with a psychiatrist; $75 for each subsequent visit
User Satisfaction

LiveHealth Online rated highly in terms of whether users would recommend the service to a friend, at 87%. It had one of the higher ratings for respectful providers and ease of connecting to a therapist. Overall, 90% of users rated their experience with LiveHealth Online as good, very good, or excellent. It was one of the sites with the highest number of patients with insurance coverage at 69%.

LiveHealth Online users were also impressed with its medication management services: 87% rated it excellent, very good, or good, and 89% rated prescriber qualifications excellent, very good, or good. Users especially appreciated LiveHealth Online’s affordability, convenience, and psychiatrist availability. Finally, 77% said they would recommend LiveHealth Online’s psychiatry and medication management services to a friend.

Best Network of Providers : MDLIVE


  • Price: $108-$284 per session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy, Medication Management
Why We Chose It

MDLIVE is a highly accessible and easy-to-use comprehensive mental health teleservice platform, where you can select your own provider from well-vetted options. Costs are lower than usual costs and direct insurance coverage is available if you are in network.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Choose your provider from an easy-to-use directory

  • Accessible services, including 24/7 support

  • Costs lower than other services, even without insurance

Cons
  • No controlled substances prescribed

  • Certain diagnoses are not treated, such as ADHD

  • No free assessments available

Overview

MDLIVE follows a similar general telehealth model to a few other sites like Teladoc and LiveHealth, but still offers comprehensive therapy and psychiatric services online in an easy-to-use platform. 

Thanks to its large network of vetted, licensed, and board-certified providers, MDLIVE offers access to treatment for a wide array of diagnoses within a week. You can choose your provider directly from an easy-to-navigate index when you register. Evening and weekend hours are available, as well as 24/7 access to customer service. Services are also available for children and teens ages 10 and up. 

However controlled substances are not prescribed, and no outside paperwork services (such as for disability or animal therapy claims) are available. The company does not treat certain conditions such as ADHD, acute psychosis, active substance use requiring detox, and moderate to severe autism.

Plans & Pricing

MDLIVE offers therapy and medication management services via a pay-per-session model. Several major insurance plans are accepted (even Medicare and Medicaid in some areas). Out of pocket, therapy appointments cost $108; psychiatry appointments cost $284 for the initial evaluation, then $108 for subsequent sessions.

User Satisfaction

Our users rated MDLIVE as one of the top three highest in terms of ease of navigation, at 81% positive. It also rated the highest for responsivity of its providers at 63% (with the rest being less than 60%). When it came to prices, 62% said MDLIVE was very affordable or affordable, while another 32% found it to be somewhat affordable; only 6% found the prices to be not very affordable or not affordable at all.

While 91% of users rated their overall experience at MDLIVE positively, only 73% of users rated the platform’s psychiatry and medication management services positively. Still, 90% of users rated prescriber qualifications as good, very good, or excellent, and 88% rated prescriber bedside manner as good, very good, or excellent.

Compare the Best Online Psychiatry of 2023

Best For
Price
Is Insurance Accepted?
Does it Accept HSA/FSA?
Type Of Therapy
Communication Options
Reset All
Teladoc Health Best Overall $99 per therapy session, $209 for initial psychiatry appointment and $109 per follow-up Yes. 60 different insurance plans accepted Yes Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry Audio, Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me
Monument Best for Substance Use $0 to $249 per month Yes Yes Group Therapy, Medication Management, Peer Support Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me
Brightside Best for Anxiety and Depression $95-$349 Yes Yes Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me
Talkiatry Best for Medication Management and Bipolar Disorder Depends on your insurance Yes. BCBS, Cigna, United Health, Aetna, Tricare, Medicare, and others Yes Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me
Talkspace Best for Patient Support $276 - $516 monthly Yes Yes Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Audio, Live Chat, Messaging, Phone, Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me
Thriveworks Best for 24/7 Service Session rate varies by provider; $99 per session if not using insurance Yes Yes Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Audio, Phone, Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me
Doctor on Demand Best for Multiple Diagnoses $129-$179 per session Yes Yes Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Audio, Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me
LiveHealth Online Best for Budget $80-95 per therapy session; $175 or less for an initial psychiatry session; $75 per follow-up Yes Yes Children's Therapy, Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me
MDLIVE Best Network of Providers $108-$284 per session Yes Yes Individual Therapy, Medication Management Video Chat Learn More
Hide, not for me

Final Verdict

The best online psychiatry services combine accessibility (via wider insurance networks or economical payment plans), ease of use and modern navigation, and an excellent network of caring, expert psychiatric providers you can choose from. Teladoc, one of the oldest telehealth platforms, was rated highly on all of these factors and so is our overall pick for best online psychiatry. 

If you’re looking for a budget option while paying out of pocket, LiveHealth Online has no monthly fees and some of the lowest per-visit pricing without insurance (but it also accepts insurance). For those experiencing anxiety and/or depression and looking for access to psychotherapy and psychiatry services, Brightside could also be a good option.

Guide to Choosing the Best Online Psychiatry Services

Is Online Psychiatry Worth It?

Online psychiatry services are skyrocketing in both popularity and availability. Their immediate appeal lies in their accessibility. The U.S. mental health care system is notorious for its difficult navigation and limited access to quality care, due to several factors including a shortage of qualified providers (particularly in less-populated areas), outdated and limited access networks within insurance plans, and more. 

Online psychiatry promises to open access to a larger network of pre-vetted and qualified psychiatrists and other mental health providers to anyone who can access the internet. Platforms could potentially prescreen and speed up approval of access based on insurance or paid fees. Also, flexibility of scheduling and costs may also improve with reduced travel time, job conflicts, and other factors. Other services could also be potentially streamlined online, such as messaging providers, prescription access, and more.

Comparing Online Psychiatry Services

There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing which online psychiatry service is best for you.

Price

Cost and insurance coverage are clearly important factors (as rated on our user survey), so it’s important to review fees and insurance networks accepted before signing up. Know your monthly budget and whether or not you want to pay per session or pay a monthly fee for a set of recurring services. Also decide whether you’re OK with paying a membership fee in addition to service fees. Consider length of appointments, provider qualifications, and additional perks (like the ability to message your therapist) when calculating the value for money.  

Treatment Area

The focus of an online psychiatry service is also important: does it specialize in care that includes your particular diagnosis or age group? (For example, certain sites specialize in care for ADHD but not much else.) Can it treat multiple issues that you may have (such as additional comorbidities like substance abuse)? Do you have access to either a therapist and/or a psychiatrist/prescriber, or to all-in-one treatment if available? How broad is the service's network of providers where you live, and what are their qualifications? If you’re looking to find out whether or not you’re experiencing a diagnosable condition and what that is, you’ll want to start with a more general service.

Medication Options

The particular medications/prescribing services available are important to check. Some companies may not be allowed to prescribe all controlled substances in certain regions, or only in limited quantities. Some may have less experience or comfort with certain types of medications or diagnoses. Access for refills or discussing urgent side effect issues should also be considered. Also check if medication is a separate charge or included in the service fees.

Scheduling

Scheduling is one of the best potential advantages of online psychiatry companies, but only if the service actually has good availability for a wide range of times, and with the same provider each time instead of a more worrisome random provider approach. Ease and accuracy of scheduling is also important. If you have a specific need for appointments that fall outside of normal business hours, look for services with the widest range of scheduling options. Also consider if you’re willing to wait a bit longer for service in order to secure appointments at a specific time.

Financial Assistance

Most online psychiatry services accept insurance, and many try to make services affordable even without insurance. Still, some service fees may be able to be waived or reduced, and some psychiatrists may offer sliding scale pricing. It’s always worth emailing customer service to inquire about making services within your financial reach. 

Ease of Switching Therapists

You’ll want to be sure the service has a relatively easy way to switch to a different provider in the event you don’t feel that your first provider is a good match. Also look for services that ensure easy access to customer support for technical issues (such as video signal problems).

How Do I Choose an Online Psychiatrist?


An array of smiling faces and random facts can be daunting to navigate at first; what are the important things to consider when choosing your confidante?

  • Credentials: Did the provider attend well-established or well-known academic training programs? Are they actively board-certified, and in what specialties? Do they have any particular focus or experience in an area related to your condition, or training in a specialized therapy modality (such as CBT or psychoanalysis) you might benefit from or prefer?
  • Experience: How many years out of training is the clinician? Older people may be more seasoned in some ways but may also sometimes be less up-to-date with the latest treatments and medications. 
  • Life story or cultural background: Is it similar to your own? There may be some advantages and comfort in discussing issues with someone from your own background, but also potential for challenge and growth when seeking help from someone more unfamiliar as long as their approach is empathetic and knowledgeable. 
  • Availability and schedule: Will it match up with yours? 
  • Reviews or ratings: Are any available describing their approach and their interpersonal skills? Online reviews for psychiatrists aren’t necessarily reliable for various reasons, but numerous repeated themes may be helpful to consider.

What If I'm Having Thoughts of Harming Myself? 

Online telepsychiatry services usually offer the caveat that anyone with acute suicidal or self-injurious thinking, urges, or plans, or mental health symptoms that endanger one’s or others’ daily well-being are not usually appropriate for their level of care. People with these issues should access in-person emergency care ASAP by calling 911 or going to their nearest or preferred hospital emergency room, or to please call the national suicide hotline 988.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Conditions Can Online Psychiatrists Help Me With?

Psychiatrists are physicians with medical training, (i.e., MD or DO degrees, which take four years) and psychiatric residency training, which takes another four years. They can treat a wide array of mental health conditions and are trained to diagnose patients and treat them using both psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. Some specialize or have additional board certification in particular diagnoses (like mood and anxiety, alcohol use, or eating disorders) or age groups (like child/adolescent or geriatric). Online psychiatrists often cannot treat more severe mental health conditions or prescribe controlled substances. For these services, in-person psychiatry would be necessary.

Are All Prescribers of Mental Health Medication Psychiatrists?

Many services now also have other people who can prescribe medications with different qualifications and training, such as primary care physicians, psychiatric nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and in a few states, psychologists. These other prescribers do not usually have the same amount of rigorous time and training regarding human physiology and pharmacology in combination with psychiatric expertise as psychiatrists, but some may have sufficient experience to help prescribe for routine or mild mental health conditions.

What Is the Difference Between Teletherapy and Telepsychiatry?

Teletherapy is a more general term referring to psychotherapy conducted remotely online. There are numerous licensed and trained specialists who can provide teletherapy, such as licensed mental health therapists, social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Telepsychiatry refers to the practice of psychiatry conducted remotely online, and usually refers to services provided specifically by a psychiatrist who does an initial history-taking and diagnostic biopsychosocial assessment, followed by recommendations for treatment involving psychotherapy and/or pharmacotherapy. Psychiatrists are trained in and can also conduct psychotherapy, but a more common treatment model is to split care with a designated psychotherapist and have the psychiatrist focus on medication management.

How Do You Know Online Psychiatrists Are Qualified?

You should check via search engine (in addition to whether the site says they also screen for these credentials) to see if someone has an active medical license in your state, active board certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and no signs of unusual medical board complaints or legal issues.

Do I Need To Currently Be Seeing a Psychiatrist to Receive Medication?

As with any medication, it’s important to receive periodic follow-ups from your qualified treater to make sure continuation of your medication at its current dosage is the appropriate plan. For psychiatric conditions, psychiatrists are best able to determine with you what the right medication and the most appropriate follow-up period is. Sometimes if a medication is very stable, routine prescribing can be continued by a primary care provider instead.

Do Online Psychiatrists Accept Insurance?

This depends on the psychiatrist and the platform. Some may screen and validate that your insurance is in network ahead of time; others may not accept insurance up front and make you do paperwork/send out-of-network billing instead, which can be time-consuming and have higher upfront copays or fees.

Methodology

We reviewed results from our exclusive user survey that rated 55 sites with 105 respondents each. Factors that were weighed more heavily included ratings for provider qualifications, satisfaction with needs met, ease of use and navigation, prescriber availability and attitude, and cost-insurance considerations. All services included here only use licensed psychotherapists and board-certified psychiatrists or licensed prescribers. All services listed (except for Monument) had at least a 90% positive overall rating.

Best Online Psychiatry Service

VERY WELL MIND / Amelia Manley

By Jean Kim
Jean Kim, MD, MA, is a psychiatrist and writer from the Washington, DC area.

Edited by
Olivia Campbell
A white woman with red hair and blue glasses stands in front of green trees

Olivia Campbell is a health editor for performance marketing at Verywell. She is author of the New York Times best-selling book “Women in White Coats: How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine.”

Learn about our editorial process
and
Simone Scully
simone-scully-verywell

Simone is the health editorial director for performance marketing at Verywell. She has over a decade of experience as a professional journalist covering mental health, chronic conditions, medicine, and science.

Learn about our editorial process