The 5 Best Online Psychiatry Services Of 2022
A holistic approach to health includes taking care of your mental health, which may include seeking out a psychiatrist. These medical doctors specialize in mental health and take a full-spectrum approach to treatment, considering both the "mental and physical aspects of psychological problems," according to the American Psychiatry Association.
Unfortunately, psychiatric care can be expensive—no matter what budget you're working with. It can also be inconvenient, especially if you're accommodating the schedule of a busy practitioner who only offers sessions during working hours. But thanks to the advancement of telehealth services, psychiatric care has never been more accessible.
The best online psychiatry services address the issues of traditional in-person care by offering affordable virtual sessions. More impressive? Many of these services offer faster response times compared to traditional providers, yet they can still have prescribed medications shipped to your door. Plus, many of the outlets offer ongoing counseling services as well.
Below, check out our selections of the best online psychiatry services that provide a range of caregivers.
What is virtual psychiatry (and is it worth it)?
Virtual psychiatry services provide access to board-certified psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners (NPs), many of whom are not only available for medication management but also talk therapy. These services often offer video and phone sessions, and a few even set you up with psychiatrists in your vicinity, so you have the choice to meet in person. By ditching a brick-and-mortar office, the telehealth companies also make psychiatry and medication management much more affordable, especially for those living in larger (read: more expensive) cities.
While seeking out the advice of a medical professional virtually can be slightly nerve-wracking—especially when factoring in privacy concerns—it's actually regarded as an equally effective way to seek care. A review of telepsychiatry versus traditional care found no difference in accuracy or satisfaction by patients.
Just remember that it's important to understand the full scope of your psychiatrist's care offerings. Some will lean into nutritional psychiatry, which looks at diet as a possible way to improve health, while others will focus on medication. The traditional range of services includes diagnosing mental health conditions, prescribing medications, and providing therapy.
How we picked:
Everyone should have access to mental health care, so it was important to find brands that suited a range of incomes.
Many seeking out psychiatric care need a prescription, so we prioritized brands offering this service.
Not only did we look at actual customer reviews, but we turned to trusted sources like the Better Business Bureau to evaluate positive (or negative) responses to various services.
We prioritized telehealth services with a large network of practitioners to ensure scheduling remained easy and patients could easily seek care when needed.
mbg's picks for the best online psychiatry services of 2022:
Best overall: Talkspace
- Flexible plans
- Easy access
- Prescription management
- No sliding scale
- Age restrictions
- Live sessions limited to 30 minutes
Talkspace is one of the better-known online therapy outlets, but it also offers psychiatry services. When you sign up, the services matches you with someone who can prescribe you medication in your state, whether you're looking for initial medication consultations or prescription management.
The service takes home the best overall title because of its speedy response times and convenient app, which also lets you message with therapists. Getting started is as easy as filling out an initial assessment with information on your current medications and needs.
Cost: $249 for initial visit; $125 for follow-ups
Best for medication counseling: Brightside
- Wider variety of medications available
- Easy-to-use platform
- Lessons can be hit or miss
- Availability based on therapist's schedule
Brightside is a great choice for those that need prescription medications as well as counseling services—and you're guaranteed an appointment within 48 hours of your initial outreach. After your initial appointment, your assigned psychiatrist will create a treatment plan, which includes sessions with a therapist and interactive video lessons. These tools are designed to help better manage anxiety or other concerns that may arise during treatment. You'll also have access to a messaging service for additional on-demand help.
Of course, the real standout feature of Brightside is PrecisionRx, a proprietary tool that makes it easy for doctors to assess your current medications and determine what might work best going forward.
Cost: $95 per month for medication management; $349 per month for therapy & medication; $15 or pharmacy copay per prescription
Best for different types of therapy: Doctor on Demand
- Choose your own psychiatrist based on areas of expertise
- Integrates entire care team
- Specialized care
- Practitioner availability varies by location
- Appointment may takes a few days to schedule
In addition to having doctors that specialize in the treatment of postpartum depression, grief and loss, PTSD, stress, and depression and anxiety, the site also has helpful pages that walk potential patients through symptoms and even treatment plans to get a better understanding of what they're signing up for.
The ease doesn't end there; the company matches you with a doctor who accepts your insurance and even calls prescriptions into the pharmacy of your choice. It also offers fast access to different types of therapy, as well as coaching support around the clock.
Cost: 25 minutes for $129; 50 minutes for $179; $299 for initial visit
Best for optional in-person care: Teladoc
- Open appointment schedule
- Same-day appointments available
- In-person option
- Flat-rate consultations for those without insurance
- Follow-up appointments can be pricey
If you'd also like the option to go into an office for a more traditional therapy session, Teladoc might be the choice for you. It sets you up with local doctors with both virtual and in-person availability, which is great for those teetering on telehealth services. (And it makes prescribing medication simpler).
Teladoc also offers phone sessions, which could be great if you travel often and don't want to be tethered to hotel Wi-Fi while speaking with your provider. There's also a messaging service within the company's easy-to-use app that's perfect for asking your practitioner short questions or refilling a prescription when you're out of town. While the service accepts insurance, it also provides options for those without with an initial consultation priced at $99.
Cost: $99 for initial consultation; additional sessions depend on health plan but range from $0 to $299
Most affordable: Minded
- Large network of medical professionals
- No therapy services
- Medication-forward approach
Many medications require regular visits to your doctor to renew your prescription, but Minded is changing the game (and helping you skip an extra visit to the doctor's office). Easily one of the most affordable psychiatric services available right now, it connects you with a medication management specialist to help you stay up to date on your prescriptions.
While it's likely not the best pick for those who are just starting psychiatric care—as it doesn't offer any type of talk therapy—it's a great pick for those familiar with their best treatment plan. Of course, if traditional psychiatric care is not feasible with your budget, you can rely on Minded's independent medical team to help with your treatment, as all are qualified to prescribe medications for anxiety and depression.
Cost: $10 for first month; $40 for monthly subscription
Online psychiatry services make therapy and medication management much more affordable, especially if you don't have insurance. While the price ranges for these services can be huge, there are plenty of trusted, affordable options that make it easy for anyone to get access to licensed professionals.
Reset Your Gut
Sign up for our FREE doctor-approved gut health guide featuring shopping lists, recipes, and tips
Brittany Loggins is a freelance writer covering health, wellness, and all things lifestyle. She spent time on staff at CBSNews.com and TODAY.com, where she wrote about everything from breaking news to the best scented candles. Brittany is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s degree in consumer journalism—and you can still find her cheering on the Bulldogs every single chance she gets.