Best Online Psychiatry Services of 2022: Teledoc, Minded, etc.

mbg Contributing Editor

By Brittany Loggins

mbg Contributing Editor

Brittany Loggins is a freelance writer covering health, wellness, and all things lifestyle.

Picture by BONNINSTUDIO / Stocky

July 15, 2022

A holistic approach to health includes taking charge of your mental health, which may include seeking out a psychiatrist. According to the American Psychiatry Association, these physicians specialize in mental health and take a comprehensive approach to treatment, considering both the “mental and physical aspects of psychological issues.”

Unfortunately, psychiatric care can be expensive no matter what budget you’re working with. It can also be inconvenient, especially if you fit into the schedule of a busy practitioner who only offers sessions during work hours. But thanks to the advancement of telehealth services, psychiatric care has never been more accessible.

The best online psychiatry services address the problems of traditional in-person care by offering affordable virtual sessions. More impressive? Many of these services offer faster response times compared to traditional providers, but they can still have prescribed medications shipped to your door. Additionally, many outlets also offer ongoing counseling services.

Below, see our picks of the best online psychiatry services that provide a range of carers.

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 for talk therapy. These services often offer video and phone sessions, and a few even connect you with nearby psychiatrists, so you have the choice of meeting in person. By ditching a physical office, telehealth companies are also making psychiatry and medication management much more affordable, especially for those who live in larger (read: more expensive) cities.

Although seeking the advice of a medical professional can practically be a bit nerve-wracking, especially when considering privacy issues, it is actually considered an equally effective way to seek treatment. A review of telepsychiatry versus traditional care found no difference in accuracy or patient satisfaction.

Remember that it is important to understand the full scope of your psychiatrist’s care offerings. Some will look at nutritional psychiatry, which looks at food as a possible way to improve health, while others will focus on drugs. The traditional range of services includes diagnosing mental health problems, prescribing medications and providing therapy.

How we chose:

Everyone should have access to mental health care, so it was important to find brands that suited a range of incomes.

Many people seeking psychiatric care need a prescription, so we prioritized brands that offer this service.

Not only did we look at actual customer reviews, but we turned to trusted sources like the Better Business Bureau to gauge positive (or negative) responses to various services.

We have prioritized telehealth services with an extensive network of practitioners to ensure planning remains easy and patients can easily seek care when needed.

mbg’s picks for the best online psychiatry services of 2022:

Advantages:

  • Flexible plans
  • Easy access
  • Prescription management

The inconvenients:

  • No sliding scale
  • Age restrictions
  • Live sessions limited to 30 minutes

Insurance: Yes

Gender-Affirming Care: Yes

Type: Video, audio, Discuss

Talkspace is one of the most well-known online therapy outlets, but it also offers psychiatry services. When you sign up, the services match you with someone who can prescribe medications for you in your state, whether you’re looking for initial medication consultations or prescription management.

The service wins the best overall title due to its fast response times and convenient application, which also allows you to communicate with therapists. To get started, simply complete an initial assessment with information about your current medications and needs.

Cost: $249 for the first visit; $125 for follow-ups

Advantages:

  • Greater variety of drugs available
  • Easy to use platform

The inconvenients:

  • Lessons can be random
  • Availability according to the therapist’s schedule

Insurance: Yes

Gender-Affirming Care: Yes

Type: Video, Discuss

Brightside is a great choice for those who need prescription medication as well as counseling services – and you’re guaranteed an appointment within 48 hours of your first procedure. After your first 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 will also have access to a courier service for additional assistance upon request.

Of course, Brightside’s real standout feature is PrecisionRx, an exclusive tool that makes it easy for doctors to evaluate your current medications and determine what might work best in the future.

Cost: $95 per month for medication management; $349 per month for therapy and medication; $15 or pharmacy co-pay per prescription

Advantages:

  • Choose your own psychiatrist based on areas of expertise
  • Integrates the entire care team
  • Specialized care

The inconvenients:

  • Practitioner availability varies by location
  • The appointment may take a few days to schedule

Insurance: Yes

Gender-Affirming Care: Yes

Type: Video

As well as having doctors who specialize in treating postpartum depression, grief and loss, PTSD, stress, depression and anxiety, the site also has helpful pages that guide potential patients through symptoms and even treatment plans to better understand what they sign up for.

The ease doesn’t stop there; the company connects you with a doctor who accepts your insurance and even calls prescriptions at your pharmacy of choice. It also offers quick access to different types of therapy, as well as round-the-clock coaching support.

Cost: 25 minutes for $129; 50 minutes for $179; $299 for the first visit

Advantages:

  • Open appointment calendar
  • Same day appointments available
  • In-person option
  • Flat-rate consultations for the uninsured

The inconvenients:

  • Follow-up appointments can be expensive

Insurance: Yes

Gender-Affirming Care: Yes

Type: Video, audio, Discuss, In person

If you also want the option of visiting a practice for a more traditional therapy session, Teledoc could be the choice for you. It connects you with local physicians with virtual and in-person availability, which is ideal for those who falter on telehealth services. (And it simplifies the prescription of drugs).

Teladoc also offers phone sessions, which could be great if you travel often and don’t want to be connected to hotel WiFi while talking with your provider. There’s also the company’s easy-to-use in-app messaging service, perfect for asking your practitioner quick questions or filling a prescription when you’re out of town. While the service accepts insurance, it also offers options for those who don’t with an initial consultation for $99.

Cost: $99 for the initial consultation; additional sessions depend on the health plan but range from $0 to $299

Advantages:

  • Economic
  • Extensive network of healthcare professionals

The inconvenients:

  • No therapy services
  • Drug transfer approach

Insurance: Yes

Gender-Affirming Care: Yes

Type: Discuss

Many medications require regular visits to your doctor to refill your prescription, but Minded is a game changer (and helps you avoid an extra doctor visit). Easily one of the most affordable psychiatric services available today, it connects you with a medication management specialist to help you stay up to date on your prescriptions.

While it’s probably not the best choice for those just starting psychiatric care – as it doesn’t offer any type of talk therapy – it’s a great choice for those who know their best treatment plan. Of course, if traditional psychiatric care isn’t feasible with your budget, you can rely on Minded’s independent medical team to help with your treatment, as all of them are qualified to prescribe medication for anxiety and depression.

Cost: $10 for the first month; $40 for a monthly subscription

The take-out sale.

Online psychiatry services make therapy and medication management much more affordable, especially if you don’t have insurance. Although the price ranges for these services can be huge, there are plenty of reliable and affordable options that make it easy for anyone to access licensed professionals.

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