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I. The 10 Best Online Psychiatry Services of 2021

Get the mental health support you need with these online psychiatry services:

Amwell— Best Overall
Amwell’s team of board-certified psychiatrists provide psychiatric assessments, evaluations, and treatment, including medication management services, for a range of behavioral health challenges. Services are available nationwide and may be covered by insurance.

BetterHelp— Best for Versatility
Better Help is an online, subscription-based counseling platform that offers counseling services through web-based interaction, including live video sessions, live phone sessions, and live messaging. Clients can also share an unlimited number of messages with their counselor through a dedicated virtual room that’s open 24/7.

Talkspace— Best for Convenience
Talkspace connects patients to psychiatric treatment, from initial evaluation to ongoing prescription management, from a licensed prescriber in their state through Live Video Sessions on the Talkspace platform.

MDLIVE Behavioral Health— Best for Insurance Coverage
MDLIVE Behavioral Health is a telemedicine provider that offers access to board-certified doctors, including psychiatrists, for a range of psychiatric conditions. MDLIVE works with several health insurance plans, so virtual visits may be covered by insurance.

Teladoc— Best for Medication Management
Teladoc is a virtual health care provider that delivers remote medical care, including mental health services, by phone or video. Psychiatrists perform medication management and may start patients on new treatments or refill existing prescriptions, as clinically appropriate.

e-Psychiatry Telemedicine— Best for Personalized Care
e-Psychiatry offers behavioral health services nationwide and considers itself a complete telepsychiatry, digital health, and disease management program for all mental health and substance use conditions. Patients are matched with a psychiatrist based on their personal preferences.

Rethink My Therapy— Best for Usability
Rethink My Therapy is an online subscription-based telehealth provider that focuses on behavioral health. Pricing ranges from $99 per month for individuals to $159 per month for families.

LifeHealth Online— Best for Therapy
LiveHealth Online is a telemedicine provider that offers LiveHealth Online Psychiatry, through which patients can access a board-certified psychiatrist via smartphone, computer, or tablet. Visits with a therapist or psychologist are also available.

Now Psych— Best for Internet and Gaming Disorders
Now Psych is an online provider of mental health and substance use disorder services in Florida and California. Dr. Sean Paul, the founder of NowPsych, is dual board-certified in adult psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry and has expertise in internet and gaming disorders.

II. How We Chose the Best Online Psychiatry Services

We reviewed each company looking at various key features to discover some of the best online psychiatrist platforms. In addition to evaluating the following criteria, we looked for secure, reliable services that were suitable for a wide range of patients.

Communication Methods

Clients should be able to easily connect to their online psychiatrist. Therefore, we selected services that used different types of communication methods, from email and text messaging to live video, phone, and chat discussions.

Available Therapists

The therapist/client relationship is a very personal one. To that end, we looked for services that let clients select a therapist to suit their preferences and ones that supported a wide field of professionals.

Accessible Care

The need to talk to your therapist or psychiatrist can strike at any time, making on-demand or same-day appointments a beneficial feature. We evaluated the following online psychiatrist programs on their appointment availability and wait times.

III. Our Top Picks for Online Psychiatry Services

Amwell — Best Overall

amwell screenshot

Amwell is a telemedicine provider that connects patients with board-certified doctors through video-based appointments using a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Telepsychiatry services are provided by a network of licensed physicians board-certified in psychiatry and neurology. Services are available nationwide, and each psychiatrist is licensed to practice in their state. Amwell uses a collaborative care model, meaning psychiatrists have the ability to coordinate with your primary care physician and other health care providers.

Amwell psychiatrists can address a number of common behavioral health conditions, including anorexia, bulimia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, cognitive disorder, depression, insomnia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Amwell psychiatrists can prescribe medications, if needed, for the treatment of diagnosed mental disorders. Typically, a patient would see a psychiatrist for mental health medication management.

An initial 45-minute consultation with an Amwell psychiatrist costs $269. Follow-up appointments are 15 minutes and cost $99. Amwell works with several health insurance plans, so if you have health insurance, the cost of treatment may be covered by your health plan. Amwell recommends scheduling an initial consultation to receive a thorough assessment and appropriate treatment protocol. If additional talk therapy is recommended, a psychiatrist may refer you to a counselor or psychologist within the Amwell network who can provide counseling services.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
$269 (initial 45-minute visit)

$99 (15-minute follow-up visits)

Video, phone Yes Not mentioned

What Patients Are Saying
Amwell patients recommend the service for the high quality of care that they receive. “My doctor has been instrumental in improving my mental health,” wrote one user. “She’s committed to my healing as much as I am.”

 


Better Help — Best for Versatility

betterhelp screenshot

Better Help is an online counseling platform that offers counseling services through web-based interaction, as well as phone and text communication. The service is subscription-based and costs between $60 and $80 per week, billed monthly. While Better Help does not provide access to psychiatrists, its platform features professionals who are certified by their state’s board to provide therapy and counseling. These professionals include licensed psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors who have a master’s degree or a doctorate degree in their field. They also have at least three years and 1,000 hours of clinical experience.

After signing up, Better Help matches users with an available counselor based on the user’s personal preferences and goals for therapy. Users get a virtual room where they can share information, ask questions, and discuss concerns. Counselors respond with feedback, insights, and guidance after reviewing these messages. Sessions don’t require scheduling because they don’t occur in real-time, and users are not limited in the number of messages they can send their counselor. In addition, users have the option to talk to their counselor in real-time via live chat sessions, live phone sessions, or live video sessions, all of which must be scheduled in advance. This type of interaction allows users to get instant responses from their counselor.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
$60 to $80 per week (billed monthly) Video, phone, messaging No 12,000 therapists

What Patients Are Saying
BetterHelp users value the service for its multiple methods of communication and unlimited messaging. “BetterHelp is a readily available way for me to open about my issues and get support when I need it,” writes one user. “My counselor has guided me through many of life’s challenges, both big and small.”

 


Talkspace — Best for Convenience

talkspace screenshot

Talkspace is an online therapy company that provides access to licensed therapists, including board-certified psychiatrists. Services are delivered via smartphone or tablet. Patients receiving psychiatry services access their appointments online through live video sessions on the Talkspace platform, which is available on both iOS and Android devices. Initial evaluations with a Talkspace psychiatrist cost $199, and follow-up sessions are $125.

Talkspace psychiatrists can help patients with an array of mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders, depression, mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and more. They can provide personalized medication management and prescribe common drugs for the treatment of mental health disorders, with the exception of controlled substances, such as Adderall, Ativan, Concerta, Klonopin, Ritalin, Vyvanse, Valium, Xanax, and Suboxone.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
$199 (initial evaluations)
$125 (follow-up sessions)
Video No 12,000 therapists

What Patients Are Saying
Talkspace users appreciate the convenience of the platform, as well as the qualifications of their providers. “I was going through a really difficult time in my life, and my anxiety was through the roof,” said one patient. “I was able to talk to a doctor within days, instead of waiting months, and credit him for getting me back on solid ground.”

 


MDLIVE Behavioral Health – Best for Insurance Coverage

MDlive screenshot

MDLIVE Behavioral Health is a telemedicine provider that offers access to board-certified doctors, including psychiatrists. Services are delivered via smartphone or tablet. Initial evaluations with an MDLIVE psychiatrist costs $259, and follow-up visits are $99. However, virtual visits may be covered by health insurance.

MDLIVE’s psychiatrists can help patients with addictions, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorders, and more. Psychiatrists are permitted to send prescriptions, if needed, to local pharmacies. After registering and activating an account, patients can browse doctor profiles, view available appointment times, and schedule an appointment. Appointments for psychiatry services are generally available within a few days.

MDLIVE reports that it does not treat emergency behavioral health situations, active hallucinations or delusions, moderate to severe autism spectrum disorders, or substance use in active medical detox. For these conditions, MDLIVE recommends seeing a doctor for an in-person visit or going to an emergency room, depending on the severity of the issue. In addition, MDLIVE psychiatrists do not prescribe controlled substances.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
$259 (initial evaluations)
$99 (follow-up visits)
Video Yes More than 1,000 licensed therapists

What Patients Are Saying
MDLIVE patients value the platform for the amount of choice it provides. “I was having a hard time finding a doctor that I clicked with,” wrote one patient. “But with MDLIVE, I was able to choose someone who seemed like a good fit and we made so much more progress together because of it.”

 


Teladoc – Best for Medication Management

teladoc screenshot

Teladoc is a virtual healthcare provider that delivers remote medical care, including mental health services, by phone or video. Available mental health professionals include licensed therapists and board-certified psychiatrists. Appointments are available seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visits with a psychiatrist cost $229 for the first visit and $119 for follow-up visits. For patients who do not need medication management, Teladoc offers mental health visits with therapists for $99 per visit. With insurance, care can be as low as $0 per visit, depending on the health insurance plan. The average online mental health visit, such as an in-person visit, is 45 minutes.

Only Teladoc psychiatrists can prescribe medications, with the exception of controlled substances or medications for the treatment of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Teladoc notes that prescriptions for these drugs require in-person care and ongoing monitoring. However, patients with these conditions can use Teladoc psychiatrists for therapy, guidance, or to obtain other medications. Psychiatrists providing visits for Teladoc offer a wide range of prescriptions, including but not limited to, antidepressants, specific anxiolytics, and select antipsychotics. Psychiatrists may start patients on new treatments or refill an existing prescription, as medically appropriate.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
$229 (initial evaluations)
$119 (follow-up visits)
Video Yes Not mentioned

What Patients Are Saying
Teladoc patients recommend the platform for people who need prescription medications to help treat mental health issues. “Ordinarily, I would see my doctor for my medication management,” says one patient. “But I couldn’t get an appointment to refill my prescription when it ran out. Fortunately, I was able to get my script through Teladoc, and it was way more convenient than having to drive to the office for an appointment.”

 


e-Psychiatry Telemedicine – Best for Personalized Care

e-psychiatry screenshot

e-Psychiatry offers behavioral health services nationwide and considers itself a complete telepsychiatry, digital health, and disease management program for all mental health and substance use conditions. More than 1,000 licensed therapists and board-certified psychiatrists are available in 50 states through e-Psychiatry. Fees vary depending on the provider. However, e-Psychiatry providers accept most insurance plans, as well as self-pay patients.

e-Psychiatry psychiatrists treat a broad range of mental health conditions, including addictions, ADHD, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia, and more. Patients are matched with a licensed therapist or psychiatrist based on their preferences, including age, gender, experience, and religious views. Providers offer evidence-based therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and medication management, through appointments that occur over messaging, phone, or video.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
Varies by provider Video Yes Not mentioned

What Patients Are Saying
Patients appreciate the quality of the therapy services they receive through e-Psychiatry. “After struggling to make progress with traditional therapy I decided to try something new,” writes one patient. “I’m so grateful to have found a knowledgeable and thoughtful doctor who really understands the issues I’m facing.”

 


Rethink My Therapy – Best Value

rethink-my-therapy screenshot

Rethink My Therapy is an online subscription-based telehealth provider that focuses on behavioral health. It offers a team of board-certified psychiatrists who provide psychiatric assessments, evaluations, and treatment, including medication management. Rethink My Therapy also provides access to licensed therapists.

Care is primarily provided via video as best practice for behavioral health sessions; however, Rethink My Therapy also offers phone visits as a secondary option. Pricing is subscription-based rather than session-based and ranges from $99 per month for a single person to $159 per month for families. Rethink My Therapy does not accept insurance as a payment method.

Appointments are available during daytime hours, evenings, and weekends. Patients are not limited in how many sessions they can book per month. Instead, sessions are based on provider availability. Sessions typically last between 30 minutes and one hour. Patients can expect to have two to five sessions per month, depending on their needs and their provider’s availability. Between appointments, patients can message their providers through a secure messaging system.

Rethink My Therapy psychiatrists provide treatment and medication management for anorexia, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, bulimia, cognitive disorder, depression, insomnia, obsessive-compulsive disorder panic attacks, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and general anxiety.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
$90 per month (single plan)
$129 per month (couples plan)
$159 per month (family program)
Video, phone Yes Not mentioned

What Patients Are Saying
Patients recommend Rethink My Therapy for ongoing mental health support. “Rethink My Therapy has been an affordable way for me to get the mental health care that I need,” writes one user. “I feel like I’ve struck gold. My doctor has been a consistent source of help.”

 


LiveHealth Online – Best for Therapy

Live-Health-Online screenshot

LiveHealth Online is a telemedicine provider that offers LiveHealth Online Psychiatry, through which patients aged 18 and older can access a board-certified psychiatrist via smartphone, computer, or tablet. The cost of a LiveHealth Online Psychiatry visit is $175 for an initial consultation and $75 for a follow-up visit. However, the cost of an online visit may be lower if covered by a health insurance plan.

Common issues that LiveHealth Online psychiatrists address include stress, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more. Psychiatrists can also prescribe medications, with the exception of controlled substances, to help manage behavioral health conditions. Patients are advised to first meet with a therapist or psychologist using LiveHealth Online Psychology if they’re unsure if they should see a psychiatrist or a therapist. Visits with a therapist or a psychologist cost less, at $80 per visit and $95 per visit, respectively.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
$175 (initial evaluation)
$75 (follow-up visits)
Video Yes Not mentioned

What Patients Are Saying
LiveHealth patients appreciate the service for the ease of access and quality care it delivers. “I was having trouble starting in-person therapy again,” says one user, “but LiveHealth made it easy to resume treatment when I really needed to. The fact that I could talk to my doctor from home put me much more at ease.”

 


Now Psych – Best for Internet and Gaming Disorders

Now-Psych screenshot

Now Psych is an online provider of mental health and substance use disorder services in Florida and California. Dr. Sean Paul, the founder of NowPsych, is dual board-certified in Adult Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He sees children, teenagers, and adults with a broad range of mental health conditions but specializes in ADHD, anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, addictions, and trauma. Typical issues Now Psych sees include struggles with school and behavioral issues at home or with interpersonal relationships.

Dr. Paul is also an expert on treating child, teen, and adult internet and gaming disorders such as video game addiction, internet addiction, problem gaming, problem technology use, and screen addiction. Now Psych also offers comprehensive consultations for concerns related to the internet and gaming, as well as treatment recommendations to help cope with the impact of these issues. Now Psych can develop a customized treatment plan for both children and adults that can be delivered via online psychiatry.

Fees range between $149 and $400 per session, and sliding scale fees may be an option for patients who cannot afford the full cost of services.

Price Appointment Types Accepts Insurance Therapists on Staff
$149 – $400 per session Video, phone No 1

What Patients Are Saying
Now Psych patients appreciate the compassionate care they receive from Dr. Paul. “I’ve been going here for a few sessions now with Dr. Paul, and I’m very happy with his care,” writes one patient. “He makes me feel very heard, and takes a proactive but conservative approach to medication.”

IV. Online Psychiatry FAQs

What is online psychiatry?

Online psychiatry, also called telepsychiatry, allows psychiatrists to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients with mental health and substance use disorders at a distance using telecommunications technology.

A psychiatrist can generally provide the same services online to treat mental health problems as they do in-office, especially if the mental health problems are mild to moderate. However, severe mental illnesses are generally treated in-office.

An online psychiatrist can also prescribe medications online to treat mental health conditions just as they would in the office, but there are some limitations. For example, online psychiatrists cannot prescribe controlled substances.

Is online psychiatry effective?

A growing body of research suggests that there is substantial evidence supporting the use of telemedicine interventions in patients with mental disorders. One review of research found that telepsychiatry is comparable to face-to-face services in terms of reliability of clinical assessments and treatment outcomes. The study also found that telepsychiatry is more cost-effective than face-to-face delivery of mental health services. Another review suggests that telepsychiatry is feasible to implement, effective across multiple age groups and clinical settings, and is generally well accepted by patients and clinicians.

What are the benefits of an online psychiatrist?

Online psychiatry may have some advantages over in-person psychiatry. These benefits include:

  • Online psychiatry may reduce the need for time off work, childcare services, etc., because appointments can be accessed from home.
  • People who live in remote areas or areas with a shortage of psychiatrists can gain access to an online psychiatrist in other geographic locations through telepsychiatry.
  • Online psychiatry may reduce delays in care and improve continuity of care and follow-up because online appointments tend to be more readily available than in-person appointments.

How much does an online psychiatrist cost?

The cost of an online psychiatrist varies based on several factors. Most online psychiatry providers charge a per-session fee based on the provider and the length of the session. An initial online consultation with a psychiatrist typically costs between $200 and $300. Follow-up visits are generally lower and cost between $75 and $200 per session. A few platforms have subscription-based pricing models that cover all available services.

Insurance coverage can also impact the cost of an online psychiatrist. Some platforms and providers accept health insurance for mental health and substance use disorder services. Coverage also varies by health insurance plan.

V. Sources

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