How Do You Get a Referral for a Psychiatrist?


Quick Answer

A simple way to get a referral to a psychiatrist is to ask your primary care doctor for a recommendation, notes WebMD. However, you can also use other resources to find a psychiatrist who is a good match for your situation.

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Full Answer

WebMD suggests considering your needs when seeking a referral. Some psychiatrists focus on prescribing antidepressants or other psychiatric medications, while other psychiatrists also provide psychotherapy. There are also psychiatrists who specialize in treating particular problems, such as substance abuse or anxiety issues.

You can also use a directory of mental health professionals, such as those recommended by Mental Health America on its website. These include Psychology Today's online therapist directory or the Therapist Referral Network. Your insurance company may also have a list of psychiatrists who accept your insurance coverage. If you have Medicare, the Medicare website has a tool to search and compare specialist physicians online.

If you need an immediate referral to a psychiatrist and cannot wait for an appointment, there are several emergency resources. Mental Health America lists the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline as a 24-hour resource for finding crisis help in your area. You can also call 911 or go to the emergency room if you need treatment for a psychiatric emergency.

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