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9 best online psychiatry services in 2024, according to mental health experts

Skip the search for an in-person psychiatrist and have your medication managed at home with services like Talkiatry, Brightside and Talkspace

9 best online psychiatry services in 2024, according to mental health experts

Therapist, psychologist, counselor, psychiatrist — it’s easy to get lost in the terms used to qualify different mental health professionals. But psychiatry, specifically, stands out for an important reason: Psychiatrists are medical doctors who, unlike counselors, psychologists and therapists, can prescribe, monitor and manage medications.

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In a recent Yahoo poll of 750 in-person and online therapy patients, more than half (54%) stated that finding a service that prescribed medication was important to them. If working with a psychiatrist to help guide you through a diagnosis and medication options is important to you, you are not alone, and seeking treatment through one of the best online therapy services that offer psychiatry is an option worth exploring. In fact, in that same Yahoo poll, 90% of respondents said they would recommend online therapy services to family and friends.

Content concerning mental health is for informational purposes only and is not intended as professional medical or health advice. Consult a medical professional for questions about your health. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, call 911, local emergency services, or 988 (the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline).

"Telepsychiatry gives patients more options for finding a suitable psychiatrist or therapist,” explains Michael Kane, the chief medical officer at the Indiana Center for Recovery. “Patients are not limited to just their geographical location and can choose from a wider pool of professionals who may specialize in their specific needs. This increases the chances of finding a good match and receiving quality treatment."

Fortunately, many online therapy providers offer online psychiatric care, but sifting through a sea of potential providers may feel overwhelming. We researched more than 25 of the top online psychiatry providers and spoke to a panel of experts in the field to learn what makes a good online psychiatry service stand out. We looked for services that provide access to an ample roster of psychiatrists, offering appointments either on the same day or within the same week. We selected services that treat a wide range of conditions such as anxiety, depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). We also sought affordability, whether through accepting insurance or offering low-cost services to those without insurance. Throughout our in-depth research and testing, we prioritized online psychiatry services that met the criteria outlined by our panel of experts, offered exceptional customer service and met a wide range of budgets. Here are our top picks for the best online psychiatry.

Cost: $95-$349 per session | Insurance accepted: Yes | Time until first appointment: About 24 hours | States available: All 50 states | Types of services offered: Individual therapy and psychiatry for teens (13+) to seniors

Studies indicate roughly 50% to 60% of those in treatment for depression respond positively to the first antidepressant they try, while the remaining 40% to 50% often require two or more attempts to find the right balance. While this is common, the trial-and-error approach to medication management can delay symptom relief and be financially and emotionally costly for patients. Brightside mitigates the trial and error phase with AI technology to help increase the likelihood that you’ll find a medication that works on the first attempt.

Brightside's AI predictor uses more than 100 data points to evaluate over 1,000 medication combinations to predict which will be most effective for you. Based on client data, 70% of their patients discover the right medication regimen on the first try.

The company applies the same scientific approach to talk therapy by relying primarily on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is considered the "gold standard" of psychotherapy. CBT is a type of talk therapy where therapists help clients identify negative or illogical thinking patterns and the potentially damaging behaviors that result from these thoughts. CBT addresses a wide variety of disorders ranging from depression and anxiety to substance use disorders and psychosis.

Brightside, unlike some online telepsychiatry providers, is also willing to work with clients who may be struggling with more severe mental illness or mental health conditions. This includes pioneering a Crisis Care treatment plan designed for those who are actively suicidal or have recently made a suicide attempt. Most online psychiatry companies avoid accepting clients who are at risk of hurting themselves, but Brightside uses the collaborative assessment and management of suicidality (CAMS) framework to combat self-harm. This framework has been shown to work, with one study indicating a decreased risk of suicide following treatment and a better therapeutic relationship than other interventions. 

  • Accepts insurance
  • Treats severe depression and anxiety
  • Data-driven care
  • Does not prescribe controlled substances
  • Does not treat those under 18
$95-$349 per session at Brightside

Cost: $185 for initial psychiatric consultation; $100 for psychiatry follow-up; $80 for talk-therapy sessions | Insurance accepted: Yes | Time until first appointment: Varies based on provider | States available: All 50 states | Types of services offered: Individual therapy for people 10 years and older; psychiatry for adults 18+

According to a 2022 brief released by the White House, almost 50% of individuals who didn't receive care for mental health conditions in 2020 cited cost as the reason to skip the therapist's office. 

The reality is, in the absence of quality health insurance (or the absence of therapists and psychiatrists who accept insurance), the out-of-pocket cost for mental health care can be prohibitive. LiveHealth Online is one of the few online psychiatric services that is financially accessible to most, even if you don't have health insurance. The first psychiatry evaluation costs $185, with each follow-up a reasonable $80. The company also offers affordable talk therapy starting at $85 per session. This means if your psychiatrist recommends talk therapy as a treatment, they can seamlessly refer you to a therapist within the same platform.

LiveHealth Online treats a broad range of mental health conditions including, but not limited to, depression, OCD and bipolar disorder. They offer flexible scheduling, allowing you to meet with your doctor when it's convenient for you.

If you struggle to afford mental healthcare, LiveHealth Online offers easy, accessible care that could significantly improve your mental health. The company also accepts insurance coverage.

  • Affordable
  • Talk therapy available
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Limited insurance acceptance
  • Cannot prescribe controlled substances
$185 for initial consultation; $80 per follow up at LiveHealth Online

Cost: Varies based on insurance | Insurance accepted: Yes | Time until first appointment: Within days | States available: 42 states and Washington, D.C. (Not available in Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming) | Types of services offered: Individual, couples and teen therapy; medication management, children (5+) to seniors

Talkiatry's approach to providing psychiatric care borders on revolutionary. Talkiatry is currently the largest psychiatric practice in the United States with over 300 care providers. They only accept patients who have insurance, which makes it inaccessible for some, but it does mean the company is held to specific medical standards. Furthermore, it can be difficult to find a psychiatrist who accepts health insurance, so having a platform where you know your insurance will be accepted is a clear benefit. According to psychiatrist Dr. Tzvi Furer of Palm Tree Psychiatry, "Many private psychiatrists do not accept health insurance due to mental health parity laws and reimbursement rates." This allows Talkiatry's payment model to fill a vital niche in mental healthcare accessibility.

Talkiatry is great for the entire family not only because they treat children as young as five, but also because they prescribe controlled substances when necessary. This is important in the younger age group because psychostimulants are often used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which affects roughly 11% of children between the ages of 5 and 17. Talkiatry's ability to both treat and prescribe necessary medications to young people makes it an important resource for families that need to address childhood mental health disorders.

One potential downside is that while Talkiatry offers talk therapy in addition to psychiatry, that kind of therapy is not its specialty. Therefore, it's unclear how long you would have to wait for a referral to a therapist, and you have to be using the platform’s psychiatry services in order to access its talk therapy. Furthermore, only two of Talkiatry's talk therapy providers specialize in children and adolescents, so you may actually have to seek out a separate platform or resource if you’re looking for a strong focus on counseling.

That said, if multiple members of your family are in need of psychiatric care, Talkiatry is a great starting point, especially since it's equipped to treat some of the youngest members of your household.

  • Can prescribe controlled substances
  • Psychiatry available for kids over five
  • Accepts insurance
  • Limited talk therapy for kids available
  • Insurance required for treatment
  • Not available in every state
Varies at Talkiatry

Cost: $200+ per session | Insurance accepted: Yes | Time until the first appointment: Within 24-48 hours | States available: District of Columbia and all states except Vermont | Types of services offered: Individual, pediatric and family therapy, couples counseling, psychiatry

Thriveworks is one of the most well-rounded of the online psychiatry platforms because the company provides a wide range of mental health services to people of all ages. This makes the company uniquely equipped to address common mental health concerns like anxiety and depression and their impact on the entire family unit. 

The reality is, a parent's mental health has a direct impact on their children, both physically and mentally. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children whose parents report poor mental health are also more likely to experience poor mental, physical and emotional health. This is compounded by an increased likelihood to experience trauma, divorce and poverty, all of which negatively affect general health. 

Thriveworks addresses this by providing care for the entire family. For example, if you have depression, not only can you receive medication through the platform's psychiatry program and therapy from a counselor, but so can your newly diagnosed teenager. This can happen while you and your partner are in couples therapy to discuss the impact of your depression on the relationship. By providing care for the entire family, Thriveworks sets family units up for success, regardless of who is facing anxiety or depression.

Thriveworks is also unique in that it offers in-person services in addition to online treatment. This means if you're unsatisfied with in-person or online treatment, you can switch to the other format while remaining with the same organization.

Anxiety and depression are common mental health disorders that need proper treatment to help patients find relief. Thriveworks' broad range of services enables entire families to feel supported throughout the treatment journey.

  • In-person care available
  • Accepts insurance
  • Pediatric psychiatry available
  • Messaging unavailable
  • Out-of-pocket session fees are high
  • Pricing without insurance unclear
$200+ per session at Thriveworks

Cost: $0-$299 | Insurance accepted: Yes | Time until first appointment: Varies based on provider | States available: All 50 states | Types of services offered: Individual therapy and psychiatry for ages 13 and up

Teladoc's main focuses are accessibility and convenience. As one of the first telehealth companies, Teladoc has spent the past 22 years honing its practice of providing high-quality healthcare online.

Teladoc uses a pay-per-visit model rather than offering a subscription service. This allows you to make appointments when it's right for you and eliminates the need for unnecessary appointments. You also choose your doctor, so you have a better chance of finding one that works for you on the first try rather than having an algorithm guess for you.

Because of Teladoc's emphasis on convenience, both talk therapy and psychiatric visits are scheduled through the same straightforward portal. The portal allows you to schedule an appointment any day of the week between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. — regardless of your timezone. This flexibility offers greater support for patients who need to be seen urgently — you won't have to wait weeks or months for an appointment that works for your schedule.

One downside of Teladoc is that, since it is a telehealth company that treats a broad range of mild health conditions, if you're facing severe symptoms or a more uncommon diagnosis, a company that specializes in mental healthcare might be a better option for you.

That said, Teledoc's streamlined scheduling system enables you to be seen quickly by a provider qualified to treat mental health conditions.

  • Treatment for teens available
  • Appointment options every day of the week
  • Accepts insurance
  • You choose your provider
  • Does not specialize in mental health
  • Cannot see provider bios without signing up
$0-$299 at Teladoc

Cost: $69-$109 a week for therapy, billed monthly; $65 for additional sessions | Insurance Accepted: Yes | Time until first appointment: One week | States available: All 50 states | Types of services offered: Individual talk therapy, couples therapy, individual teen therapy, psychiatry with medication management

Talkspace's reputation centers on its talk and message-based therapy, but many people aren't aware that the company also offers medication management. Talk therapy is an important factor for most mental health treatment, so it makes sense to combine medication management with talk therapy to ensure you're getting all the treatment you need. Talkspace allows you to combine a talk therapy subscription with medication management appointments, providing you with the flexibility to add or remove medication management appointments as you navigate what works best for you.

Additionally, Talkspace's talk therapy plans are flexible, including its messaging-only service. If you find a medication that works well for you, and you want to cut back on talk therapy without eliminating it completely, Talkspace's messaging service allows you to do just that.

Talkspace accepts health insurance, but if you pay out of pocket for psychiatric care, it's fairly expensive. Their payment model relies on bundles:

  • An initial evaluation with a single follow-up appointment is $435

  • An initial evaluation with three followup appointments is $725

If you've already paid for an initial evaluation:

  • Three follow-up appointments cost $475

  • Six follow-up appointments cost $890

  • Nine follow-up appointments cost $1,260

Because the foundation of Talkspace's treatment is talk therapy, whether that's delivered via messaging or video sessions, it may not be the best for someone who already has a psychotherapist they work with. However, if you're ready for talk therapy and are considering adding medication management to your treatment, Talkspace's flexibility might be a good option for you.

  • Insurance accepted
  • No subscription required
  • Appointments available within a week
  • Does not treat people under 18
  • Controlled substances not available
$69-$109 a week for therapy, billed monthly at Talkspace

Cost: $299 for initial visit, $129 for follow-ups | Insurance accepted: Yes | Time until first appointment: Within a week | States available: All 50 states | Types of services offered: Individual therapy and psychiatry for children and adults

Like its name suggests, Doctor on Demand provides medical care where and when you need it most. Not only are psychiatrists available seven days a week, but the appointments are short, making it easy to fit one into a busy schedule. The initial evaluation is only 45 minutes long, and each follow-up is only 15 minutes. 

While appointments may be on the short side, Doctor on Demand doesn't limit patient care to more common disorders such as anxiety and depression. Rather, they treat a full range of psychological illnesses — everything from postpartum depression and anxiety to PTSD, grief and loss. Doctors also specialize in diverse populations including the LGBTQ community. And because the platform offers psychiatry and therapy, your psychiatrist can refer you to an appropriate therapist based on your needs.

  • Offers pediatric care with guardian consent
  • Treats a range of conditions
  • Accepts insurance
  • Cannot prescribe controlled substances
  • Expensive without insurance
$299 for initial visit, $129 for follow ups at Doctor on Demand

Cost: $95-108 for talk therapy, 0-$284 for psychiatry | Insurance accepted: Yes | Time until first appointment: Within a week | States available: All 50 states and Puerto Rico | Types of services offered: Individual therapy and psychiatry for children and adults

If you have an older child or an adolescent who needs psychiatric care, you’re not alone. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, nearly half of all teens have experienced a mental illness at some point in their lives. And while finding and accessing mental health care can be a challenge across all age groups, it’s especially difficult for minors, as not all providers want to serve those under 18. Fortunately, MDLive provides mental healthcare for children ages 10 and older.

MDLive offers appointments seven days a week and in the evenings, so you don't have to pull your child out of school for them to receive treatment. Furthermore, its providers specialize in issues that affect families, such as LGBTQ identity, divorce and parenting challenges. These issues affect children regardless of whether they’re directly experiencing them or whether other members of the family are at the center of the situation. MDLive provides psychiatry and talk therapy, so children can receive all mental healthcare from a single company.

Furthermore, MDLive offers other forms of healthcare including primary care, urgent care and dermatology. If you’d like to receive most of your healthcare virtually, MDLive is equipped with a broad range of services.

  • Can choose providers
  • Child and teen therapy available
  • No subscription required
  • Full list of accepted insurance plans not listed on website
  • Does not treat children under 10 years old
$95-108 for talk therapy, 0-$284 for psychiatry at MDLive

Cost: $15-$249 per month | Insurance accepted: Yes | Time until first appointment: Not provided | States available: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Pennsylvania, Washington, Virginia, Georgia, Colorado, Oregon, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Florida, Ohio, Arizona, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. | Types of services offered: Individual and group therapy and medication management for adults

The stigma associated with alcohol use disorder (AUD) frequently prevents people from seeking the full range of treatments available. Although support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, can be helpful, medication assisted treatment (MAT) is the first line of treatment for those with moderate to severe AUD. Despite its proven effectiveness, medication is vastly underused.

Monument aims to close this gap by offering MAT to those experiencing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. In addition to its virtual support groups, forums and one-on-one therapy, you can meet with a practitioner to receive one of two medications shown to reduce alcohol consumption in those struggling with AUD. Furthermore, Monument doesn't take an all-or-nothing approach to alcohol. If you're aiming to simply cut back on your drinking rather than eliminate it entirely, Monument will support you on that journey.

This wrap-around care distinguishes Monument from other providers, but that doesn't mean Monument is right for everyone. It doesn't offer treatment to those under 18, and it's unclear whether its providers are equipped to treat co-occurring disorders that often accompany AUD, such as anxiety, depression, PTSD or sleep disorders. While Monument accepts health insurance, if your insurance doesn't cover treatment, it's going to be expensive, with plans costing upwards of $249 per month.

Still, if you're struggling to reduce or stop your alcohol consumption, Monument's thorough treatment options could be what you need to succeed.

  • Specializes in alcohol use disorder
  • Group therapy available
  • Messaging available
  • Not equipped to treat comorbid disorders
  • Subscription required
$15-$249 per month at Monument

Online therapy is not the best resource if you’re having thoughts of suicide or self-harm. Instead, seek immediate help in one of the following ways:

The Trevor Project offers a 24/7 suicide prevention and crisis intervention hotline for LGBTQ youth and their loved ones. Call 1-866-488-7386, text START to 678-678 or send a confidential instant message to a counselor through TrevorChat. More resources are available at

Electing online or in-person psychiatry is a personal choice and one you should consider carefully. That said, if you're comfortable with receiving medical care online, or if you live in a rural area that doesn't have easy access to psychiatric services, it might be a good fit. Dr. Tzui Furer, a psychiatrist at Palm Tree Psychiatry, explains, "Online psychiatry can be right for people who feel comfortable communicating [with] their provider through a secure, online medium. Individuals who perhaps feel more comfortable being at home or in a non-office setting might be best suited for this setting."

However, he clarifies that online psychiatry might not be right for everybody, especially if you're prone to getting distracted. This is particularly true for children or those whose living situation would lead to distractions during an online session. "Individuals who are highly distractible, or feel that they won't be comfortable or open with their provider or individuals without a private, consistent internet connection may not be appropriate for treatment with this modality," says Furer.

There are many key factors to look for when seeking an online psychiatry provider. Of course you'll want to consider the provider's cost and whether they accept your insurance, but you'll also want to examine their treatment specialties, appointment availability and reputation. Trent Carter, a psychiatric nurse practitioner and founder of the addiction treatment service Curednation points out a few other factors you should look into:

  • Make sure the provider is licensed to practice psychiatry in your state; check credentials, experience and specialties

  • Verify the platform being used is secure and HIPAA compliant for privacy regulations

  • Consider whether consultations are provided through video, phone, or messaging; choose a provider with a communication style that aligns with your preferences and needs

  • Assess psychiatrist availability for appointments and whether there's emergency support or crisis intervention available

We evaluated each online psychiatry platform based on a variety of factors including whether its providers are licensed, whether it accepts insurance, what services are offered, and whether it has faced recent legal trouble. We also sought out platforms equipped to treat people from diverse backgrounds and various identities. We also spoke to five psychiatric professionals about what to look for in online psychiatric care.

While teletherapy and telepsychiatry are both mental health services provided online, that's largely where the similarities end. Therapists provide talk therapy without medication, meeting frequently to address the client's concerns and provide resources for strengthening resilience and working through past traumas or problems. As Carter explains, "Therapy involves talking to a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or licensed therapist, to address emotional and psychological issues. Therapists use various techniques to help individuals understand their thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and develop coping strategies to manage them."

Telepsychiatry is care provided by a licensed medical doctor or nurse practitioner who specializes in mental health medication management. They mainly focus on prescribing medication as a source of treatment. Carter clarifies the overlap by saying, "Psychiatrists are medical doctors who can prescribe medication, conduct evaluations and provide therapy, although therapy may not be their primary focus."

There is mounting evidence that online mental health services, including online psychiatry, is an effective way to treat and manage mental health concerns. "Several studies have demonstrated comparable outcomes between in-person and remote psychiatric care for various mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)," Carter says.

Joni Ogle, the CEO of the addiction treatment recovery company Transcend Recovery Community, agrees, saying, "Telepsychiatry has been found to be just as effective as in-person care in numerous studies. Research has demonstrated positive outcomes in various areas, including the reduction of symptoms, increased adherence to treatment plans and improved overall mental health."

However, just because telepsychiatry has scientific evidence behind it doesn't mean it works for everyone. Dr. Michelle Dees, a psychiatrist at the Luxury Psychiatry Medical Spa, clarifies that online psychiatry has a few downsides: "In-person appointments allow psychiatrists to pick up on nonverbal cues, such as body language and facial expressions, which can help them better understand their patients' emotions and thoughts. These cues may be missed or misinterpreted during telepsychiatry sessions, potentially leading to less accurate diagnoses and treatment plans."

Patients may also feel disconnected from their provider. "The lack of physical presence and connection can make it difficult for some patients to develop a trusting relationship with their psychiatrist, which is important for successful treatment outcomes," Dees says.

Telepsychiatry is a scientifically supported practice that increases the accessibility to mental health care. While it might not work for everyone, it's a fantastic option for those seeking a more flexible and accessible way to receive mental health assessments and prescriptions.

Some online psychiatrists are licensed to prescribe controlled substances, like Adderall or Ritalin, but this varies by platform and location. "In the United States, online psychiatrists can prescribe controlled substances in certain situations, provided they comply with federal and state regulations. However, regulations may vary by state, and psychiatrists must conduct thorough evaluations and follow appropriate prescribing practices," Carter explains.

Most of the providers on this list don't prescribe controlled substances. This is likely due to other companies facing legal trouble for overprescribing controlled substances via telepsychiatry. Furer points out that the government is paying attention and taking action, "[Telepsychiatry] has come under considerable examination by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), who has enforced regulations to ensure that practitioners using telepsychiatry are prescribing appropriately within the states that they are licensed in."

If you think you need a controlled substance to manage your mental health, make sure you use a platform whose providers are approved to provide such prescriptions, like Talkiatry.

"Telepsychiatry can provide treatment for nearly all mental health conditions, as long as treatment can be provided and there can be appropriate sessions for the patient given adherence and compliance," Furer explains.

In other words, psychiatrists practicing online can treat the vast majority of mental health conditions, just as they do when practicing in person. Some of these conditions include depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety and substance use disorders.

Trent Carter, a psychiatric nurse practitioner and founder of the addiction treatment service Curednation

Dr. Michelle Dees, a psychiatrist at the Luxury Psychiatry Medical Spa

Dr. Tzvi Furer, psychiatrist of Palm Tree Psychiatry

Michael Kane, psychologist and chief medical officer at the Indiana Center for Recovery

Joni Ogle, CEO of addiction treatment recovery company Transcend Recovery Community