If you’re struggling with mental illness, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to finding the right care provider to address your symptoms. How do you know if you need a specialist or more general care?
In this article, we’ll discuss how you can find the best mental health professionals for your needs. This way, you can make an informed decision about pursuing the right provider.
Are you looking for ADHD, insomnia, anxiety, or depression treatment? Take our brief self-evaluation today to get started! At Klarity, we connect you with licensed mental health providers within 48 hours so that you can get the help you need fast, right from the comfort of your own home.
Understand Your Needs
Before you search for a mental health provider, it’s important to understand your needs. Self-reflecting on your current symptoms, history with medication, and counseling can be a good jumping-off point for determining how to approach your next provider.
Medication, Counseling, or Diagnosis
Maybe you’ve already tried talk therapy and would like to explore medication. Or, perhaps you’d like to include counseling as part of your treatment plan alongside medication. Maybe you’re not interested in medication at all and just need someone to talk to. Understanding your current concerns and mental health conditions will help you find a professional to best meet your needs.
You should check your health insurance coverage before you search for a mental health professional. Many insurance companies have a list of mental health providers covered under your plan so you can determine the most affordable option for you. If you don’t have insurance, you can also look for providers who offer sliding-scale payment plans or telehealth platforms that don’t require it.
Types of Mental Health Professionals
|Provides Diagnosis||Provides CBT||Prescribes Medication||Average Cost per Visit
|Psychiatrist||Yes||Yes||Yes||$150 to $500|
|Psychologist||Yes||Yes||No||$70 to $150|
|Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse||Yes||Yes||Yes |
(under physician supervision in some states)
|Physician Assistant||Yes||Yes||Yes||$70 to $135|
|Licensed Clinical Social Worker||Yes||Yes||No||$80 to $150|
|Licensed Professional Counselor||Yes||Yes||No||$20 to $80|
Mental health professionals have different areas of expertise. Some are trained to prescribe medication, while others are trained to provide counseling or therapy. Some may be able to provide both.
The right mental health professional will be someone who makes you feel seen, heard, and valued. There are several different kinds of mental health providers that can help you address your needs, so which one is the best fit for you? Sometimes, you may have to try sessions with multiple providers before finding one that clicks.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in mental health. These are professionals who can prescribe medication and provide therapy to treat mental, emotional, and behavioral conditions.
Psychologists are providers who have completed a graduate degree in psychology. They can do psychological evaluations and provide counseling and therapy. Psychologists differ from psychiatrists because they cannot prescribe medication.
Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse
Psychiatric-mental health nurses (PMHNs) are registered nurses who have completed additional training in treating behavioral or mental health conditions. They can provide counseling, medication management, and other mental health services to individuals, groups, and families.
A physician assistant (PA) is a medical professional who works under the supervision of a doctor. These providers often have graduate-level education and can diagnose and treat patients with behavioral and mental health issues.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Licensed clinical social workers are trained mental health professionals who can provide counseling and therapy around mental health, domestic, child-protective, and social service issues. These social workers often operate outside of government agencies or non-profit organizations that fall within the healthcare sector.
Licensed Professional Counselor
Licensed professional counselors (LPCs) are trained professionals who can provide mental health and substance misuse care. LPCs typically hold a master’s degree and work in community mental health centers, agencies, and organizations. These providers are typically covered under major insurance plans, but it’s best to check with your insurer first.
Do I Need a Referral to See a Mental Health Professional?
One common question many people have is whether they need a referral from their primary care provider to see a mental health professional.
The answer to this largely depends on your health insurance plan and the specific mental health service you are seeking. Many health insurance providers do allow patients to self-refer to a mental health professional, meaning you can book an appointment directly without a referral.
If you’re seeking services through online platforms like Klarity, often you don’t need a referral. These platforms provide direct access to mental health professionals who can evaluate your condition without the extra step of a visit to your primary care provider.
However, some insurance providers require a referral to ensure the service is covered under your plan. Your primary care provider can take into account your specific needs and refer you to a compatible mental health professional in your area.
Get Help Via Telehealth
Telehealth services allow you to receive medication, counseling, or therapy online, all in the comfort of your own home. This can be a convenient option for those who have difficulty leaving their home or have transportation issues.
Telehealth can also broaden your provider search results as well, as you’re not necessarily bound to providers who live in your city. You might find more compatible options when searching all those available to provide treatment in your location.
Meet With a Healthcare Provider with Klarity
At Klarity, we understand that advocating for your mental health can be overwhelming, especially as you’re navigating symptoms that can make it difficult. We match you with a licensed provider who can be your partner, guiding you through diagnosis and medicated treatment so that you’re never alone.
If you’re interested in exploring options for medication, the providers on Klarity can write you prescriptions, and we’ll have them sent to your pharmacy or directly to your front door.
Your mental health deserves exceptional care. Take our brief survey to get treatment from empathetic mental health providers now.
“Psychiatrist” Cleveland Clinic
“Psychologist” Cleveland Clinic
Jenneh Rishe. “What to Know About Psychiatric Nurses” MedicalNewsToday
“What is a PA?” PAEA Learning for a Lifetime
“Licensed Clinical Social Works” Stress Care of New Jersey
“Who Are Licensed Professional Counselors” Counseling.org