Psychiatrists in Athens, GA

Photo of Cidia Awyie, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Athens, GA
Cidia Awyie
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Athens, GA 30601  (Online Only)
Hi there, I’m Dr. Cidia. I want to applaud you for taking the first step in reaching out for help. It takes a lot of strength and courage to seek care. The various experiences of life can leave a tremendous impact on you. Do you sometimes feel like you just want all the chaos and noise to stop? The feeling of loss, anxiety or that something is missing can make you feel like you’re pieces of a puzzle. You are not feeling your best right now. You may be struggling to find the balance, joy, and fulfillment you once felt out of just living life to the fullest.
Hi there, I’m Dr. Cidia. I want to applaud you for taking the first step in reaching out for help. It takes a lot of strength and courage to seek care. The various experiences of life can leave a tremendous impact on you. Do you sometimes feel like you just want all the chaos and noise to stop? The feeling of loss, anxiety or that something is missing can make you feel like you’re pieces of a puzzle. You are not feeling your best right now. You may be struggling to find the balance, joy, and fulfillment you once felt out of just living life to the fullest.
(706) 707-7452 View (706) 707-7452
Photo of Adelle James, Physician Assistant in Athens, GA
Adelle James
Physician Assistant, PA
Verified Verified
Athens, GA 30606
I have called Georgia home from the age of three. However, since my parents are from Chicago and South Africa, I tasted grits for the first time as an adult, later learned that a couch in the back of a pick-up is “extra seating,” and found out (the hard way) that “Bless your heart” is not a compliment. But, in true Georgia fashion, I moved to Athens to complete a Bachelor of Science at the University of Georgia, studying Medical Science through the Honors Interdisciplinary Studies program. I, then, moved to St. Louis to pursue a Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies at St. Louis University.
I have called Georgia home from the age of three. However, since my parents are from Chicago and South Africa, I tasted grits for the first time as an adult, later learned that a couch in the back of a pick-up is “extra seating,” and found out (the hard way) that “Bless your heart” is not a compliment. But, in true Georgia fashion, I moved to Athens to complete a Bachelor of Science at the University of Georgia, studying Medical Science through the Honors Interdisciplinary Studies program. I, then, moved to St. Louis to pursue a Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies at St. Louis University.
(706) 556-7881 View (706) 556-7881
Photo of Jessica Clark, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Athens, GA
Jessica Clark
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP-
Verified Verified
Athens, GA 30605
Jessica Clark is a Board-Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Georgia who has been practicing since 2021. She earned a DNP, PMHNP-BC at Augusta University. Jessica has been honored to deliver the very best evidence-based care with warmth and compassion. She collaborates with clients to achieve their personal goals. Jessica recognizes that each person has a unique experience and provides care with an understanding of their individuality. She is LGBTQIA+ affirming, sex-positive, and practices with a holistic focus. Outside of work, Jessica enjoys reading, gardening, food, and family.
Jessica Clark is a Board-Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Georgia who has been practicing since 2021. She earned a DNP, PMHNP-BC at Augusta University. Jessica has been honored to deliver the very best evidence-based care with warmth and compassion. She collaborates with clients to achieve their personal goals. Jessica recognizes that each person has a unique experience and provides care with an understanding of their individuality. She is LGBTQIA+ affirming, sex-positive, and practices with a holistic focus. Outside of work, Jessica enjoys reading, gardening, food, and family.
(762) 889-1383 View (762) 889-1383
Photo of Stephen Fleming, Psychiatrist in Athens, GA
Stephen Fleming
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Athens, GA 30605
Dr. Stephen Fleming is a psychiatrist who has been practicing since 2012. He obtained his bachelor's degree at the University of Georgia and his medical school education at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA. He received training in general psychiatry as well as child and adolescent psychiatry at the Medical College of Georgia while completing his residency and fellowship. Dr. Fleming seeks to utilize his clinical expertise to help those who are struggling with mental illness not only treat their illness to remission but also achieve the sense of well-being and fullness of life they desire.
Dr. Stephen Fleming is a psychiatrist who has been practicing since 2012. He obtained his bachelor's degree at the University of Georgia and his medical school education at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA. He received training in general psychiatry as well as child and adolescent psychiatry at the Medical College of Georgia while completing his residency and fellowship. Dr. Fleming seeks to utilize his clinical expertise to help those who are struggling with mental illness not only treat their illness to remission but also achieve the sense of well-being and fullness of life they desire.
(762) 985-0380 View (762) 985-0380
Photo of Issa Papiss Bagayogo, Psychiatrist in Athens, GA
Issa Papiss Bagayogo
Psychiatrist, MD, PhD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Athens, GA 30605
The Olive Space Psychiatry LLC is a private psychiatric practice headed by Dr. Issa P. Bagayogo MD PHD. He is a proud member of several organizations that advocate for the advancement of mental health such as The American Psychiatric Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. As a Global Mental Health specialist, he has participated in international training and consulting work to promote mental health and reduce stigma. Specifically, he specializes in pharmacological management of psychiatric disorders and addiction issues, using the latest evidence and consensus-based approaches.
The Olive Space Psychiatry LLC is a private psychiatric practice headed by Dr. Issa P. Bagayogo MD PHD. He is a proud member of several organizations that advocate for the advancement of mental health such as The American Psychiatric Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. As a Global Mental Health specialist, he has participated in international training and consulting work to promote mental health and reduce stigma. Specifically, he specializes in pharmacological management of psychiatric disorders and addiction issues, using the latest evidence and consensus-based approaches.
(762) 583-9323 View (762) 583-9323
Photo of Mauree Whitaker, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Athens, GA
Mauree Whitaker
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
Athens, GA 30606
I love to meet individuals where they are and help empower them to seek their full potential with optimal mental and emotional wellbeing. I strive to provide compassionate, inclusive, and patient-centered care to allow others to see the best in themselves and live their best lives. I have been a Family Nurse Practitioner since 2011, and truly enjoy providing whole person care for my patients. I have always felt passionate about mental health and emotional emotional wellness, so I decided to go back to school to get my Psychiatry certification in 2022 in order to provide the best care possible for my patients.
I love to meet individuals where they are and help empower them to seek their full potential with optimal mental and emotional wellbeing. I strive to provide compassionate, inclusive, and patient-centered care to allow others to see the best in themselves and live their best lives. I have been a Family Nurse Practitioner since 2011, and truly enjoy providing whole person care for my patients. I have always felt passionate about mental health and emotional emotional wellness, so I decided to go back to school to get my Psychiatry certification in 2022 in order to provide the best care possible for my patients.
(678) 338-8018 View (678) 338-8018
Photo of David Sogbamu, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Athens, GA
David Sogbamu
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
Athens, GA 30605
Mr. David Sogbamu, MSN, APRN, PMHNP–BC, stands at the forefront of psychiatric and mental health care, bringing a wealth of expertise and a compassionate approach to his practice. As a board-certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with a focus on the entire lifespan, David has dedicated his career to the comprehensive assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health conditions.
Mr. David Sogbamu, MSN, APRN, PMHNP–BC, stands at the forefront of psychiatric and mental health care, bringing a wealth of expertise and a compassionate approach to his practice. As a board-certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with a focus on the entire lifespan, David has dedicated his career to the comprehensive assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health conditions.
(706) 493-7738 View (706) 493-7738
Photo of Karl Smart, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Athens, GA
Karl Smart
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
Athens, GA 30605
Karl is a Nurse Practitioner with a wide range of experience providing care in outpatient psychiatric settings, inpatient medical consultation, inpatient pediatric units, individual therapy, group therapy, summer camps for children with medical illnesses and disabilities, and coming of age nature groups for adolescent boys. He has been working with Lifestance in Athens GA for the last 4 years. His previous roles include psychiatric care for students through the UC Berkeley student health center, psychiatirc consultation at John Muir Hospital system in the San Francisco, Bay area, and outpatient care at Oakland Children's Hospital.
Karl is a Nurse Practitioner with a wide range of experience providing care in outpatient psychiatric settings, inpatient medical consultation, inpatient pediatric units, individual therapy, group therapy, summer camps for children with medical illnesses and disabilities, and coming of age nature groups for adolescent boys. He has been working with Lifestance in Athens GA for the last 4 years. His previous roles include psychiatric care for students through the UC Berkeley student health center, psychiatirc consultation at John Muir Hospital system in the San Francisco, Bay area, and outpatient care at Oakland Children's Hospital.
(762) 889-1113 View (762) 889-1113
Photo of Stacey Fears, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Athens, GA
Stacey Fears
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Athens, GA 30601
Hello, I'm Stacey Fears, and I want to personally welcome you to Sequence To Health, where my passion for mental healthcare and my commitment to your well-being intersect. With over 18 years of experience in healthcare, my journey began in family medicine, but it was eight years ago that I discovered my true calling in mental health care.
Hello, I'm Stacey Fears, and I want to personally welcome you to Sequence To Health, where my passion for mental healthcare and my commitment to your well-being intersect. With over 18 years of experience in healthcare, my journey began in family medicine, but it was eight years ago that I discovered my true calling in mental health care.
(678) 835-3767 View (678) 835-3767
Photo of Dr. Panchajanya Paul Md, Psychiatrist in Athens, GA
Dr. Panchajanya Paul Md
Psychiatrist, MD, FAPA, ABPN
Verified Verified
Athens, GA 30605  (Online Only)
I am board certified in Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychiatry. I see children, adolescents, teenagers, and adults through telemedicine. I specialize in the use of medications and other holistic approaches to treat mental health conditions. Treating clients with respect, integrity and compassion are my priorities. When managing medications, I incorporate the most current and best evidence based practices. I have several books and research published concerning stress relief and sleep coaching with a holistic approach .
I am board certified in Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychiatry. I see children, adolescents, teenagers, and adults through telemedicine. I specialize in the use of medications and other holistic approaches to treat mental health conditions. Treating clients with respect, integrity and compassion are my priorities. When managing medications, I incorporate the most current and best evidence based practices. I have several books and research published concerning stress relief and sleep coaching with a holistic approach .
(678) 892-6669 View (678) 892-6669
Photo of Nicole Williams, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Athens, GA
Nicole Williams
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Athens, GA 30601  (Online Only)
I am a dually certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with over 12 years of nursing experience in psychiatry.
I am a dually certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with over 12 years of nursing experience in psychiatry.
(470) 518-4840 View (470) 518-4840
Photo of Evelyn Booker, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Athens, GA
Evelyn Booker
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Athens, GA 30605
Evelyn Booker is a Board-certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with over 10 years of psychiatric-mental experience. Evelyn is accepting new patients all over Georgia via telehealth visits for comprehensive psychiatric evaluations and medication management. Evelyn treats anyone suffering with depression, anxiety, ADHD, or any other mental health issue that is adversely affecting optimal functioning at work, deterring their best social self, or preventing being fully present for loved ones.
Evelyn Booker is a Board-certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with over 10 years of psychiatric-mental experience. Evelyn is accepting new patients all over Georgia via telehealth visits for comprehensive psychiatric evaluations and medication management. Evelyn treats anyone suffering with depression, anxiety, ADHD, or any other mental health issue that is adversely affecting optimal functioning at work, deterring their best social self, or preventing being fully present for loved ones.
(470) 517-8356 View (470) 517-8356
Photo of Ranjan Avasthi, Psychiatrist in Athens, GA
Ranjan Avasthi
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Athens, GA 30601
We are here at Peace of Mind Psychiatric Services to work with you and your family to help you reach your mental health goals and become your best self.
We are here at Peace of Mind Psychiatric Services to work with you and your family to help you reach your mental health goals and become your best self.
(770) 230-5377 View (770) 230-5377
Photo of Chenhang Zou, Psychiatrist in Athens, GA
Chenhang Zou
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Athens, GA 30601
Dr. Zou is welcoming new patients seeking specialized treatment for anxiety, depression, trauma, OCD, bipolar disorder, and other psychiatric concerns. As a holistic psychiatrist, Dr. Zou draws from a wide-ranging toolbox of treatment options - including psychotherapy, psycho-education and lifestyle adaptations in addition to medication where appropriate. Consequently, patients benefit from a well-integrated approach to care that is both systematic and thorough.
Dr. Zou is welcoming new patients seeking specialized treatment for anxiety, depression, trauma, OCD, bipolar disorder, and other psychiatric concerns. As a holistic psychiatrist, Dr. Zou draws from a wide-ranging toolbox of treatment options - including psychotherapy, psycho-education and lifestyle adaptations in addition to medication where appropriate. Consequently, patients benefit from a well-integrated approach to care that is both systematic and thorough.
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Photo of A New You Psychiatric Care LLC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Athens, GA
A New You Psychiatric Care LLC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
Athens, GA 30601  (Online Only)
I am a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner who specializes in anxiety and panic disorders, mood disorders and trauma. If you are feeling tearful, irritable or having issues with attention and focus, allow me to help you determine a course of treatment that can help you feel more like yourself. I will use a combination of assessment, evaluation and talk therapy to ascertain any underlying mental health alterations to develop a diagnosis and care plan to promote positive behavioral changes. As a mental health advocate my goal is to ensure that each client receives individualized, and patient centered care.
I am a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner who specializes in anxiety and panic disorders, mood disorders and trauma. If you are feeling tearful, irritable or having issues with attention and focus, allow me to help you determine a course of treatment that can help you feel more like yourself. I will use a combination of assessment, evaluation and talk therapy to ascertain any underlying mental health alterations to develop a diagnosis and care plan to promote positive behavioral changes. As a mental health advocate my goal is to ensure that each client receives individualized, and patient centered care.
(478) 210-3431 View (478) 210-3431
Photo of Edith Arterberry, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Athens, GA
Edith Arterberry
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Athens, GA 30601  (Online Only)
I am a dual-certified nurse practitioner. I am board certified in both Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-C). I provide full range of psychiatric-mental health care across the life span. My expertise lies in treating wide a range of mental health conditions with a particular focus on depression, ADHD, PTSD, anxiety disorders, mood disorders and insomnia.
I am a dual-certified nurse practitioner. I am board certified in both Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-C). I provide full range of psychiatric-mental health care across the life span. My expertise lies in treating wide a range of mental health conditions with a particular focus on depression, ADHD, PTSD, anxiety disorders, mood disorders and insomnia.
(470) 347-1164 View (470) 347-1164
Photo of Adventist Behavioral Health, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Athens, GA
Adventist Behavioral Health
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, PMHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
Athens, GA 30601
My name is Dr. Pristella. Ohanaja, DNP, PMHNP-BC and FNP-C, licensed to provide services to adults, children, adolescents, and their families.
My name is Dr. Pristella. Ohanaja, DNP, PMHNP-BC and FNP-C, licensed to provide services to adults, children, adolescents, and their families.
(678) 730-0813 View (678) 730-0813
Photo of Shiy Ajao, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Athens, GA
Shiy Ajao
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNP, -BC
Verified Verified
Athens, GA 30601  (Online Only)
As a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, I prioritize a holistic and patient centered approach, recognizing the significance of mental health is just as crucial as physical well-being (Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, Bipolar, across all life stages). I am dedicated to provide comprehensive care, that focuses on the individual's unique needs. In my practice, I emphasize the importance of an initial psychiatric evaluation to gain a deep understanding of a patient's mental health status. I am committed to taking the time necessary to listen attentively to my patients, fostering a secure environment for open communication and trust-building.
As a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, I prioritize a holistic and patient centered approach, recognizing the significance of mental health is just as crucial as physical well-being (Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, Bipolar, across all life stages). I am dedicated to provide comprehensive care, that focuses on the individual's unique needs. In my practice, I emphasize the importance of an initial psychiatric evaluation to gain a deep understanding of a patient's mental health status. I am committed to taking the time necessary to listen attentively to my patients, fostering a secure environment for open communication and trust-building.
(762) 815-5853 View (762) 815-5853
Photo of Glory Dioh-Esona, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Athens, GA
Glory Dioh-Esona
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Athens, GA 30601  (Online Only)
Hi! I’m Dr. Glory, a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner based in Georgia. I received my Doctorate from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, Provo, Utah, in 2018. I have a combined healthcare career of over 18 years. I help older adults with new-onset forgetfulness, anxiety, and stress, as well as young adults struggling with life stressors, responsibilities, and hopelessness, to navigate these obstacles and become the best version of themselves.
Hi! I’m Dr. Glory, a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner based in Georgia. I received my Doctorate from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, Provo, Utah, in 2018. I have a combined healthcare career of over 18 years. I help older adults with new-onset forgetfulness, anxiety, and stress, as well as young adults struggling with life stressors, responsibilities, and hopelessness, to navigate these obstacles and become the best version of themselves.
(470) 518-5198 View (470) 518-5198
Photo of Quinshunda Carter, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Athens, GA
Quinshunda Carter
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Athens, GA 30601  (Online Only)
Greetings, I’m a compassionate Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who provides care based on the best evidence-based practices. My focus is patient-centered care from a holistic approach.
Greetings, I’m a compassionate Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who provides care based on the best evidence-based practices. My focus is patient-centered care from a holistic approach.
(404) 738-7798 View (404) 738-7798

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Athens, GA

30+

Average cost per session

$162

Psychiatrists in Athens, GA who prioritize treating:

97% Depression
95% Anxiety
78% Bipolar Disorder
70% ADHD
70% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
68% Trauma and PTSD
59% Medication Management

Average years in practice

12 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

91% Cigna and Evernorth
84% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH
81% BlueCross and BlueShield

How Psychiatrists in Athens, GA see their clients

54% Online Only
46% In Person and Online

Gender breakdown

79% Female
21% Male

FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Athens?

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.