Psychiatrists in Fountain, CO

Photo of James Anderson, MSN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
James Anderson
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Fountain, CO 80817
Accepting New Patients! As a board-certified specialist, I focus on medication management and specialize in treating a wide range of ailments including depression, anxiety, addiction, PTSD, and more. I welcome patients with various insurances, ensuring accessibility for all. With the latest technology, I offer convenient e-prescriptions and conduct virtual sessions, providing the ease of care from the comfort of your home. Take the first step towards better mental health and schedule your in-office or video appointment today. Simply click the ‘My Website’ link or call 720-310-2773. Your well-being matters!
Accepting New Patients! As a board-certified specialist, I focus on medication management and specialize in treating a wide range of ailments including depression, anxiety, addiction, PTSD, and more. I welcome patients with various insurances, ensuring accessibility for all. With the latest technology, I offer convenient e-prescriptions and conduct virtual sessions, providing the ease of care from the comfort of your home. Take the first step towards better mental health and schedule your in-office or video appointment today. Simply click the ‘My Website’ link or call 720-310-2773. Your well-being matters!
(719) 642-6918 View (719) 642-6918
Photo of Sandra Osborne, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Sandra Osborne
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Fountain, CO 80817
Accepting New Patients! I'm Sandra (she/her), an empathetic mental health provider with a wealth of experience in crisis services, forensics, and veteran care. My mission is to meet you where you are and provide a judgment-free space where your voice is heard and valued. By integrating mind, body, and self, we'll navigate challenging emotions together. I can also prescribe and help with your medication management.
Accepting New Patients! I'm Sandra (she/her), an empathetic mental health provider with a wealth of experience in crisis services, forensics, and veteran care. My mission is to meet you where you are and provide a judgment-free space where your voice is heard and valued. By integrating mind, body, and self, we'll navigate challenging emotions together. I can also prescribe and help with your medication management.
(720) 790-4618 View (720) 790-4618
Photo of undefined - Inner Joy Psychiatry | Zachary Wight PMHNP, PMHNP, APRN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Inner Joy Psychiatry | Zachary Wight PMHNP
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, APRN
Verified Verified
Fountain, CO 80817
Accepting New Patients! I specialize in integrative psychiatry for individuals ages 16+ combining evidence-based medication management with holistic and non-traditional "whole-body" approaches for full-spectrum treatment of mental illnesses and substance abuse. I am accepting of all people and I provide non-judgmental care. Viewing the mind, body, emotions, and soul as beautifully interconnected, I will strive to gain a deep understanding of your unique history, the current struggles that are hindering mental wellness, and adaptation skills that can be enhanced to inspire a lasting sense of inner joy.
Accepting New Patients! I specialize in integrative psychiatry for individuals ages 16+ combining evidence-based medication management with holistic and non-traditional "whole-body" approaches for full-spectrum treatment of mental illnesses and substance abuse. I am accepting of all people and I provide non-judgmental care. Viewing the mind, body, emotions, and soul as beautifully interconnected, I will strive to gain a deep understanding of your unique history, the current struggles that are hindering mental wellness, and adaptation skills that can be enhanced to inspire a lasting sense of inner joy.
(970) 514-5359 View (970) 514-5359
Photo of Dr. Ronil Shah, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Ronil Shah
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Fountain, CO 80817
Why choose Dr. Ronil Shah? Because his top-notch expertise combines with compassionate, personalized care. Treatment with Dr. Shah is a two-way collaboration. Working together, you will design a mental wellness strategy that’s tailored just for you. His philosophy? Your path to wellness should be as unique as you are, shaped by empathy and expertise, and empowered by evidence-based insights and tools.
Why choose Dr. Ronil Shah? Because his top-notch expertise combines with compassionate, personalized care. Treatment with Dr. Shah is a two-way collaboration. Working together, you will design a mental wellness strategy that’s tailored just for you. His philosophy? Your path to wellness should be as unique as you are, shaped by empathy and expertise, and empowered by evidence-based insights and tools.
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Photo of Lauren Hood, PNP, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Lauren Hood
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Fountain, CO 80817
Accepting New Patients! Lauren Hood is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who provides a full range of psychiatric services and specializes in medication management. Lauren earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Wyoming. She became certified as a psychiatric registered nurse, through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, as her career progressed. Lauren completed her Master of Science in Nursing through Walden University.
Accepting New Patients! Lauren Hood is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who provides a full range of psychiatric services and specializes in medication management. Lauren earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Wyoming. She became certified as a psychiatric registered nurse, through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, as her career progressed. Lauren completed her Master of Science in Nursing through Walden University.
(720) 790-3651 View (720) 790-3651
Photo of Rick Loonam, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Rick Loonam
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Fountain, CO 80817
Now Scheduling New Patients! I'm Rick, a compassionate and board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. With a solid foundation as a former flight and emergency department nurse, I bring over 15 years of invaluable experience to my practice. Graduating from Regis University in Denver, I'm dedicated to providing the highest quality care to my clients.
Now Scheduling New Patients! I'm Rick, a compassionate and board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. With a solid foundation as a former flight and emergency department nurse, I bring over 15 years of invaluable experience to my practice. Graduating from Regis University in Denver, I'm dedicated to providing the highest quality care to my clients.
(720) 815-9450 View (720) 815-9450
Photo of Joelle Bailey, PMHNP, APRN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Joelle Bailey
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, APRN
Verified Verified
24 Endorsed
Fountain, CO 80817
Self-scheduling available now through our website!-I have devoted my career to providing evidence-based, comprehensive mental health treatment to individuals of all ages.I bring a unique perspective to the field, combining diverse clinical expertise, empathy, and a patient-centered approach. Each person is different and your individual treatment plan should reflect that. I treat a multitude of psychiatric disorders including but not limited to depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, and OCD. Some specialized populations that I treat include perinatal, child, and co-occurring medical complexity.
Self-scheduling available now through our website!-I have devoted my career to providing evidence-based, comprehensive mental health treatment to individuals of all ages.I bring a unique perspective to the field, combining diverse clinical expertise, empathy, and a patient-centered approach. Each person is different and your individual treatment plan should reflect that. I treat a multitude of psychiatric disorders including but not limited to depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, and OCD. Some specialized populations that I treat include perinatal, child, and co-occurring medical complexity.
(719) 745-5956 View (719) 745-5956
Photo of Melanie R Sida, MSN, APRN, CPNP-PC, Rxn, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Melanie R Sida
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, CPNP-PC, Rxn
Verified Verified
Fountain, CO 80817
Melanie is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner specializing in children and adolescents with developmental, behavioral and mental health disorders. She sees children and adolescents and is able to provide general assessments, recommendations for therapies and medication management for various disorders including ADHD, Autism, Anxiety and Depression. She has prescriptive authority in Colorado and can prescribe medications for children and adolescents. She has been in practice in Colorado since 2002.
Melanie is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner specializing in children and adolescents with developmental, behavioral and mental health disorders. She sees children and adolescents and is able to provide general assessments, recommendations for therapies and medication management for various disorders including ADHD, Autism, Anxiety and Depression. She has prescriptive authority in Colorado and can prescribe medications for children and adolescents. She has been in practice in Colorado since 2002.
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More Psychiatrists Nearby

Photo of Sean Elrod, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Sean Elrod
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Fort Carson, CO 80913  (Online Only)
Now ADHD certified! Life stressors got you down? Are you feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or exhausted? I strongly believe one's mental health is just as important as one's physical health. I recognize the importance of maintaining mental health and how it can greatly impact physical health and vice versa. We all have life stressors, and I strongly believe we can all benefit from regular mental health checkups. I enjoy working with a diverse adult population including the LGBTQ+ community. My approach is compassionate and non judgmental.
Now ADHD certified! Life stressors got you down? Are you feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or exhausted? I strongly believe one's mental health is just as important as one's physical health. I recognize the importance of maintaining mental health and how it can greatly impact physical health and vice versa. We all have life stressors, and I strongly believe we can all benefit from regular mental health checkups. I enjoy working with a diverse adult population including the LGBTQ+ community. My approach is compassionate and non judgmental.
(720) 806-6310 View (720) 806-6310
Photo of undefined - Bright Futures Psychiatry, MSN, APRN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Bright Futures Psychiatry
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
5 Endorsed
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
Bright Futures Psychiatry offers traditional in-office & telepsychiatry appointments to clients throughout Colorado. Our telepsychiatry platform is easy to navigate and HIPAA compliant. It simply requires clicking a link to open the video conference from the convenience & comfort of your home, office, or location of your choosing. Our goal is to provide compassionate, prompt, & reliable mental health care...resulting in Bright Futures for our clients!
Bright Futures Psychiatry offers traditional in-office & telepsychiatry appointments to clients throughout Colorado. Our telepsychiatry platform is easy to navigate and HIPAA compliant. It simply requires clicking a link to open the video conference from the convenience & comfort of your home, office, or location of your choosing. Our goal is to provide compassionate, prompt, & reliable mental health care...resulting in Bright Futures for our clients!
(719) 220-3277 View (719) 220-3277
Photo of Dr. Kate Salama, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Kate Salama
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
I am a Harvard trained adult psychiatrist who specializes in women's mental health. Most women in my practice are struggling with mood symptoms related to the menstrual cycle, fertility, pregnancy & postpartum, as well as the menopause transition. I practice integrative psychiatry, which means I combine traditional pharmacotherapy with nutritional guidance, sleep optimization support, supplement regimens, and hormonal testing if desired. Please visit my website, tendtohermd.com, for more details.
I am a Harvard trained adult psychiatrist who specializes in women's mental health. Most women in my practice are struggling with mood symptoms related to the menstrual cycle, fertility, pregnancy & postpartum, as well as the menopause transition. I practice integrative psychiatry, which means I combine traditional pharmacotherapy with nutritional guidance, sleep optimization support, supplement regimens, and hormonal testing if desired. Please visit my website, tendtohermd.com, for more details.
(720) 571-4036 View (720) 571-4036
Photo of Briana Haight, MSN, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Briana Haight
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
*Accepting New Clients* Hello, I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I provide treatment including medication management for all age ranges from childhood onward. Specializing in mental health allows me to provide excellent care for problems involving depression, sleep, anxiety, attention/concentration, mood disorders including bipolar and schizophrenia, trauma, addictions, behavioral issues and any emotional disturbances that may be experienced. I am conservative in my prescribing practices and prefer frequent follow ups.
*Accepting New Clients* Hello, I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I provide treatment including medication management for all age ranges from childhood onward. Specializing in mental health allows me to provide excellent care for problems involving depression, sleep, anxiety, attention/concentration, mood disorders including bipolar and schizophrenia, trauma, addictions, behavioral issues and any emotional disturbances that may be experienced. I am conservative in my prescribing practices and prefer frequent follow ups.
(720) 943-0396 View (720) 943-0396
Photo of Rick Loonam, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Rick Loonam
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
Now Scheduling New Patients! I'm Rick, a compassionate and board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. With a solid foundation as a former flight and emergency department nurse, I bring over 15 years of invaluable experience to my practice. Graduating from Regis University in Denver, I'm dedicated to providing the highest quality care to my clients.
Now Scheduling New Patients! I'm Rick, a compassionate and board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. With a solid foundation as a former flight and emergency department nurse, I bring over 15 years of invaluable experience to my practice. Graduating from Regis University in Denver, I'm dedicated to providing the highest quality care to my clients.
(720) 619-3338 View (720) 619-3338
Photo of undefined - Healthy Minds of Colorado, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Healthy Minds of Colorado
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Verified Verified
Colorado Springs, CO 80910
Life can be challenging. We are here to help you manage and overcome mental health challenges standing in the way of living your most fulfilling life. We primarily provide medication management but our goal is to help you find your best path forward in a comprehensive treatment style. Successful treatment is achieved not only through medication management but also through talk therapy, healthy eating habits, exercise, and consistent sleep patterns. When medication is needed, our providers aim to use the least amount of medications at the lowest dose that provides the most optimal treatment outcomes for you.
Life can be challenging. We are here to help you manage and overcome mental health challenges standing in the way of living your most fulfilling life. We primarily provide medication management but our goal is to help you find your best path forward in a comprehensive treatment style. Successful treatment is achieved not only through medication management but also through talk therapy, healthy eating habits, exercise, and consistent sleep patterns. When medication is needed, our providers aim to use the least amount of medications at the lowest dose that provides the most optimal treatment outcomes for you.
(970) 329-8059 View (970) 329-8059
Photo of M Sandoval, PhD, MSN, AGACNP, PMHNP-C, NP-BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
M Sandoval
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PhD, MSN, AGACNP, PMHNP-C, NP-BC
Verified Verified
Colorado Springs, CO 80911
Depressed, anxious, just not feeling “normal?” You are not alone despite how you may feel right now. Whether you need talk-support therapy, multimodal therapy or prescriptive management, I can help. My focused population is women, elderly, adolescents.
Depressed, anxious, just not feeling “normal?” You are not alone despite how you may feel right now. Whether you need talk-support therapy, multimodal therapy or prescriptive management, I can help. My focused population is women, elderly, adolescents.
(719) 454-8129 View (719) 454-8129
Photo of undefined - Mindfulness Psychiatry, PLLC,          Tracy Tyler, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Mindfulness Psychiatry, PLLC, Tracy Tyler
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Colorado Springs, CO 80916
Accepting New Patients for medication management of adult Colorado residents! Immediate Availability! I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, specializing in medication management of depression, ADHD, anxiety, and a variety of other mental health conditions. Please click on the “website” button to schedule an appointment. I look forward to meeting with you and helping you on your journey to optimal well-being!
Accepting New Patients for medication management of adult Colorado residents! Immediate Availability! I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, specializing in medication management of depression, ADHD, anxiety, and a variety of other mental health conditions. Please click on the “website” button to schedule an appointment. I look forward to meeting with you and helping you on your journey to optimal well-being!
(303) 328-9167 View (303) 328-9167
Photo of Austin Kopas, PMHNPBC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Austin Kopas
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
Colorado Springs, CO 80923
Austin Kopas, PMHNP-BC, is a Nurse Practitioner who specializes in mood disorders like depression, bipolar, anxiety, ADHD, and schizophrenia-type disorders. Before completed his psychiatric nursing graduate degree in 2020, he worked for 5 years in a trauma intensive care unit treating victims after events like car crashes and gunshot wounds. Austin is inclusive of all patients and is passionate about making them feel safe, informed, and comfortable when discussing their care.
Austin Kopas, PMHNP-BC, is a Nurse Practitioner who specializes in mood disorders like depression, bipolar, anxiety, ADHD, and schizophrenia-type disorders. Before completed his psychiatric nursing graduate degree in 2020, he worked for 5 years in a trauma intensive care unit treating victims after events like car crashes and gunshot wounds. Austin is inclusive of all patients and is passionate about making them feel safe, informed, and comfortable when discussing their care.
(719) 938-0319 View (719) 938-0319
Photo of Rick Loonam, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Rick Loonam
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Colorado Springs, CO 80916
Now Scheduling New Patients! I'm Rick, a compassionate and board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. With a solid foundation as a former flight and emergency department nurse, I bring over 15 years of invaluable experience to my practice. Graduating from Regis University in Denver, I'm dedicated to providing the highest quality care to my clients.
Now Scheduling New Patients! I'm Rick, a compassionate and board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. With a solid foundation as a former flight and emergency department nurse, I bring over 15 years of invaluable experience to my practice. Graduating from Regis University in Denver, I'm dedicated to providing the highest quality care to my clients.
(720) 821-7627 View (720) 821-7627
Photo of Tina Chapman, PMHNP, APRN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Tina Chapman
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, APRN
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Colorado Springs, CO 80902  (Online Only)
Tina is a board certified psychiatric mental-health nurse practitioner with over a decade of experience in behavioral health. She is committed to providing individualized, culturally responsive care. She believes in meeting you where you are and appreciates the unique values and experiences that help define your journey. Tina prioritizes collaboration and values your insight. She looks forward to helping you define and achieve your wellness goals.
Tina is a board certified psychiatric mental-health nurse practitioner with over a decade of experience in behavioral health. She is committed to providing individualized, culturally responsive care. She believes in meeting you where you are and appreciates the unique values and experiences that help define your journey. Tina prioritizes collaboration and values your insight. She looks forward to helping you define and achieve your wellness goals.
(210) 864-5824 View (210) 864-5824
Photo of Rick Loonam, PMHNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Rick Loonam
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Colorado Springs, CO 80916
Now Scheduling New Patients! I'm Rick, a compassionate and board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. With a solid foundation as a former flight and emergency department nurse, I bring over 15 years of invaluable experience to my practice. Graduating from Regis University in Denver, I'm dedicated to providing the highest quality care to my clients.
Now Scheduling New Patients! I'm Rick, a compassionate and board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. With a solid foundation as a former flight and emergency department nurse, I bring over 15 years of invaluable experience to my practice. Graduating from Regis University in Denver, I'm dedicated to providing the highest quality care to my clients.
(719) 624-3406 View (719) 624-3406

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Fountain, CO

< 10

Psychiatrists in Fountain, CO who prioritize treating:

100% Anxiety
100% Medication Management
88% Depression
88% ADHD
75% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
75% Trauma and PTSD
75% Sleep or Insomnia

Average years in practice

13 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

86% Aetna
86% BlueCross and BlueShield
86% Cigna and Evernorth

How Psychiatrists in Fountain, CO see their clients

100% In Person and Online

Gender breakdown

50% Female
50% Male
FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Fountain?

The Psychology Today Directory enables you to search specifically for psychiatrists, using the drop down provider menu in the navigation bar, by city or zip code, or by the name of the psychiatrist. Search results provide detailed profiles of professionals, including their treatment approach and areas of expertise. In addition, listings provide important information about each psychiatrist’s credentials, fees, payment options, and insurance affiliations. Directory users can select psychiatrists who meet an array of personally-desired criteria, such as familiarity with a specific community or condition.

What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?

Psychiatrists are medical specialists who focus on understanding, diagnosing, and treating diseases of the brain and disorders of the mind and behavior. As physicians, psychiatrists are trained to recognize the often-subtle biological causes of mental disorders and to monitor the effects of mental disturbances on physical conditions, such as heart disease. Psychologists are especially attuned to the influence of early experience on development and behavior, emotional and cognitive processes, the nature of personality, and social functioning. They are also trained to deploy an array of psychological tests—IQ tests, personality tests, behavioral assessments—to gauge a person’s functioning.

What is a psychiatric nurse practitioner?

A psychiatric nurse practitioner, also known as a mental health nurse practitioner, is a registered nurse who completes advanced training in psychiatric care, earning either a master’s or doctoral degree in psychiatric nursing, and in the U.S., passes a national certification exam. Like psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat mental health conditions. In some locales, psychiatric nurse practitioners can offer the full range of psychiatric care, including prescribing and managing medication. In other places, they must work in collaboration with a physician.

Is everyone in the Psychology Today Therapy Directory a licensed psychiatrist?

The Psychology Today directory lists providers who offer legitimate mental health services to the public, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors. All psychiatrists listed in the directory have a valid license issued by the state(s) in which they practice and are certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Providers whose license or primary credential has been verified by Psychology Today are signified by a “Verified” symbol. Some individuals or organizations provide services for which their state or country does not offer licenses, such as pastoral counseling. They may be selectively included without the “Verified” seal.

Can a psychiatrist prescribe medication?

Psychiatrists are licensed medical doctors who are trained to recognize the many ways body processes affect the functioning of the brain and mind. As physicians, they can prescribe medication. Patients who are prescribed medications will typically need to continue to see a psychiatrist so that the effects of the medication can be monitored. For many psychiatric conditions, including common disorders such as anxiety and depression, the preferred treatment is combination therapy—medication accompanied by psychotherapy.

Do psychiatrists offer therapy?

Psychiatrists are generally trained in a number of treatment modalities, including psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, and, increasingly, somatic therapies. Typically, psychiatrists make a diagnosis and determine a course of treatment based on chemical or biological factors, using lab tests, brain scans and physical and psychological evaluations. While psychotherapy may be used in the first session to aid in diagnosis, it is not typically utilized in subsequent visits. In fact, after the introductory session, most sessions with a psychiatrist may only be 15-20 minutes in length and are largely focused on medication management. Many psychiatrists who do not offer psychotherapy work collaboratively with psychologists and other mental health clinicians and can refer clients seeking talk therapy to those providers.

How do I know if I need a psychiatrist or a therapist?

It is not always easy to know which type of mental health practitioner to choose. Many people are unaware of the root of their mental or behavioral problem. One way many people learn which type of care is best for them is by seeing their primary care provider first. Depending on the nature and severity of the symptoms, the physician may review their medical history or perform medical tests to determine whether biological factors are involved before making a referral. It is not necessary for a person to know precisely what type of care they need in order to seek help. Many psychiatrists and psychologists refer clients to each other depending on client needs.

Do I need a referral to see a psychiatrist?

A referral to a psychiatrist is often not required. However, seeing your primary care physician first can be helpful and actually prove to be a shortcut to getting what you need. Your PCP may have a clear idea whether psychiatric help is needed and/or which kind of mental health care would be most beneficial and refer you to the right type of practitioner. For that reason alone, some psychiatrists require a referral. Further, many insurance plans require a referral from a PCP if they cover all of part of the cost of seeing a specialist; if, however, you are paying out of pocket, you may not need a referral. In any case, a referral may speed the process of securing an appointment with a psychiatrist, especially in areas where there is a shortage of mental health specialists and new patients face long waits for appointments.