Our editors have tested online psychiatrist platforms for features like appointment schedules, telemedicine providers, and pricing options. We’ve also compared reviews from users and looked at the pros and cons of each to help you choose an option that works for you. Everyday Health may earn commission from purchases made via our links to retailer websites.
An online psychiatry provider typically connects with you by video or phone to assess your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that may include medication. Your first appointment is usually an evaluation, during which your therapist will collect information about your family history, medical and mental health symptoms, and any other relevant details.
Many of the online psychiatry services we reviewed allow you to use your insurance and work with providers who are in-network. This can save you money on copays, deductibles, and coinsurance. It’s important to note that you should always check with each telemedicine service’s FAQ page or call customer support to confirm that a specific psychiatric provider accepts your health insurance.
What to Expect
Most online psychiatry appointments are conducted over videoconference on the platform you choose to use for your visit. You’ll need a computer or smartphone with a webcam, as well as reliable internet access to participate in your session. Some platforms—like Sesame, Brightside, and Zocdoc—will require you to log in directly on their website to access your session; others—including Talkspace, Thriveworks, and Better Help—allow you to use third-party tools such as Zoom or FaceTime. Most online psychiatry services will ask you to fill out an initial assessment form before your first appointment. This typically covers topics like your current symptom levels, whether you’ve had previous mental health treatment, and the effects of your symptoms on your daily life.