Private online psychiatric services offer mental health support to anyone from the comfort of home. It works in a similar way to traditional therapy, and users are able to communicate with their psychiatrist through text, video chat, or phone calls. Most platforms also offer virtual self-guided coping skill exercises and the ability to track your progress. However, online treatment does require access to a computer, a stable internet connection, and a reliable video or chat application. Those who are not comfortable with technology or have a high-stress level may struggle with online care.
When choosing an online psychiatry service, look for one that is licensed in your state and offers the types of treatments you need. Some telepsychiatry providers specialize in different areas, including child or family psychiatry, and others have specific expertise in conditions like anxiety or bipolar disorder. You should also consider whether the online psychiatrist you choose is in-network with your insurance and can accept your copays, deductibles, or coinsurance.
Choosing the Right Online Psychiatrist: A Step-by-Step Guide
Some telepsychiatry services offer a free trial so you can get a feel for the platform before signing up. If the provider you find doesn’t meet your needs, you can always switch to a new therapist without incurring any financial penalty. For example, BetterHelp offers unlimited switches between therapists and is rated as “Great” by Trustpilot with more than 200 reviews.
Another option is to use an online psychiatry directory that connects you with providers who are in-network with your insurance. For example, Brightside offers a subscription-based service that includes an initial video evaluation and video follow-up appointments, and it is compatible with many popular insurance plans, including Aetna, Cigna, and United Healthcare. It is important to note, though, that the company is unable to prescribe controlled substances, so it may not be a good fit for those who need medication management for conditions like ADHD or anxiety.