Psychiatrists in Lake County, IL

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Photo of Eric Martinez, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Lake County, IL
Eric Martinez
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, FNP-BC, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
I'm Eric Martinez, a seasoned family nurse practitioner with a passion for holistic patient care. Over the years, I've dedicated myself to enhancing my expertise, transitioning to specialize in mental health as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. My journey has been driven by a desire to address the multifaceted needs of my patients, recognizing that true well-being encompasses both physical and mental health. In my practice, I strive to empower individuals to make meaningful changes in their lives.
I'm Eric Martinez, a seasoned family nurse practitioner with a passion for holistic patient care. Over the years, I've dedicated myself to enhancing my expertise, transitioning to specialize in mental health as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. My journey has been driven by a desire to address the multifaceted needs of my patients, recognizing that true well-being encompasses both physical and mental health. In my practice, I strive to empower individuals to make meaningful changes in their lives.
(708) 859-7031 View (708) 859-7031
Photo of Alexis Henion (Addiction Speciality), Physician Assistant in Lake County, IL
Alexis Henion (Addiction Speciality)
Physician Assistant, PA-C
Verified Verified
Vernon Hills, IL 60061
Don't settle for a generic psychiatrist for drug and alcohol issues. You deserve help that actually helps you feel happy again. (And, that's in-network with your insurance).
Don't settle for a generic psychiatrist for drug and alcohol issues. You deserve help that actually helps you feel happy again. (And, that's in-network with your insurance).
(847) 278-2871 View (847) 278-2871
Photo of Karelis Sierra-Cintron, Psychiatrist in Lake County, IL
Karelis Sierra-Cintron
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Lincolnshire, IL 60069
Dr. Sierra-Cintron is board-certified in adult psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and has been in practice for 12 years. Dr. Sierra-Cintron focuses her practice on medication management. She also engages in supportive therapy in a comprehensive way, focusing on the patient as a whole and not just the symptoms. Dr. Sierra-Cintron has a comprehensive approach to treatment, and might consider the addition of therapy, either by referral or collaborating with an existing therapist for a more rounded approach and improved outcome.
Dr. Sierra-Cintron is board-certified in adult psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and has been in practice for 12 years. Dr. Sierra-Cintron focuses her practice on medication management. She also engages in supportive therapy in a comprehensive way, focusing on the patient as a whole and not just the symptoms. Dr. Sierra-Cintron has a comprehensive approach to treatment, and might consider the addition of therapy, either by referral or collaborating with an existing therapist for a more rounded approach and improved outcome.
(708) 435-2326 View (708) 435-2326
Photo of Surinderpal Kahlon, Psychiatrist in Lake County, IL
Surinderpal Kahlon
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Lincolnshire, IL 60069  (Online Only)
Dr. Kahlon has been a psychiatrist trained in the USA. He has been with the Veteran's Affairs for the past 24 years. He was employed as a staff psychiatrist and worked with a wide variety of challenging patients in the VA system. Dr. Kahlon provides medication management along with supportive therapy. In case needed further referral is made to a counselor or therapist.
Dr. Kahlon has been a psychiatrist trained in the USA. He has been with the Veteran's Affairs for the past 24 years. He was employed as a staff psychiatrist and worked with a wide variety of challenging patients in the VA system. Dr. Kahlon provides medication management along with supportive therapy. In case needed further referral is made to a counselor or therapist.
(708) 578-8080 View (708) 578-8080
Photo of Carmela Sanchez, PA-C MMS, Psychiatrist in Lake County, IL
Carmela Sanchez, PA-C MMS
Psychiatrist, PA-C , MMS
Not Verified Not Verified
Mundelein, IL 60060
Hello my name is Carmela Sanchez. I am Psychiatric Physician Assistant. Im a prescriber for psychiatric medication management and addiction/substance abuse . Im also in collaboration with Dr Vikramjit Gill, and Assisted Living Facilities to treat residents in their psychiatric needs. Bilingual (Spanish-English)
Hello my name is Carmela Sanchez. I am Psychiatric Physician Assistant. Im a prescriber for psychiatric medication management and addiction/substance abuse . Im also in collaboration with Dr Vikramjit Gill, and Assisted Living Facilities to treat residents in their psychiatric needs. Bilingual (Spanish-English)
(847) 429-3709 View (847) 429-3709
Photo of Daniel Ross, Psychiatric Nurse in Lake County, IL
Daniel Ross
Psychiatric Nurse, MSN, RN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Barrington, IL 60010
It is not uncommon to find ourselves somehow off track and disconnected from who we thought we were. Our relationships may seem stuck and deeply unsatisfying. We feel lost and unsure of our place in the world. This may be accompanied by feelings of depression, anxiety or as physical problems. It can be experienced as a deep alienation, sadness and suffering. When we are called to make a change and resist, it can cause havoc in our lives; this can happen whether the change is in the outer circumstances of our life, our inner attitude, our world view, or some combination.
It is not uncommon to find ourselves somehow off track and disconnected from who we thought we were. Our relationships may seem stuck and deeply unsatisfying. We feel lost and unsure of our place in the world. This may be accompanied by feelings of depression, anxiety or as physical problems. It can be experienced as a deep alienation, sadness and suffering. When we are called to make a change and resist, it can cause havoc in our lives; this can happen whether the change is in the outer circumstances of our life, our inner attitude, our world view, or some combination.
(847) 849-1867 View (847) 849-1867
Photo of Lin Lu, Psychiatrist in Lake County, IL
Lin Lu
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Barrington, IL 60010
Dr. Lu specializes in Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry, who has been practicing since 2010. She also has a PhD in Microbiology & Immunology. Her extensive training in both fields leads her to a unique understanding of the mind and body. She believes in people's potential and strives to develop a personal connection with them.
Dr. Lu specializes in Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry, who has been practicing since 2010. She also has a PhD in Microbiology & Immunology. Her extensive training in both fields leads her to a unique understanding of the mind and body. She believes in people's potential and strives to develop a personal connection with them.
(224) 970-2457 View (224) 970-2457
Photo of Northshore TMS, Psychiatrist in Lake County, IL
Northshore TMS
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Vernon Hills, IL 60061
Have you tried medication and therapy, but are still struggling with depression, anxious depression, or OCD? TMS Therapy is an FDA-Approved treatment that can help those with treatment resistant mood disorders get relief in as little as 6 weeks. TMS Therapy is a non-invasive, 20 minute treatment done in the outpatient setting that uses a magnetic field to stimulate a targeted area of the brain. Patients are awake during the treatment and can drive themselves to and from the treatment. TMS is tolerable, with less than 2% of patients discontinuing TMS for discomfort.
Have you tried medication and therapy, but are still struggling with depression, anxious depression, or OCD? TMS Therapy is an FDA-Approved treatment that can help those with treatment resistant mood disorders get relief in as little as 6 weeks. TMS Therapy is a non-invasive, 20 minute treatment done in the outpatient setting that uses a magnetic field to stimulate a targeted area of the brain. Patients are awake during the treatment and can drive themselves to and from the treatment. TMS is tolerable, with less than 2% of patients discontinuing TMS for discomfort.
(847) 916-0461 View (847) 916-0461
Photo of Kathryn Schoenbrod, Psychiatrist in Lake County, IL
Kathryn Schoenbrod
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Highland Park, IL 60035
I have been in private practice since 1985. I am a general adult psychiatrist and see those age 13 and older. I am one of the "dinosaurs" who still do psychotherapy as well as medication. I see individuals, couples, and families. Although the majority of my patients see me for mood disorders and anxiety, I have had a special interest in eating disorders since training. My practice has solely been outpatient for many years, thus inpatient care would have to be transferred temporarily to another physician. (note: I am an out-of-network provider; fees range from $140-320, depending on service, see below.)
I have been in private practice since 1985. I am a general adult psychiatrist and see those age 13 and older. I am one of the "dinosaurs" who still do psychotherapy as well as medication. I see individuals, couples, and families. Although the majority of my patients see me for mood disorders and anxiety, I have had a special interest in eating disorders since training. My practice has solely been outpatient for many years, thus inpatient care would have to be transferred temporarily to another physician. (note: I am an out-of-network provider; fees range from $140-320, depending on service, see below.)
(847) 807-1781 View (847) 807-1781
Photo of Sarah Mennella, Psychiatrist in Lake County, IL
Sarah Mennella
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Lincolnshire, IL 60069  (Online Only)
Dr. Mennella is a board-certified adult psychiatrist. Dr. Mennella's practice focuses on medication management and supportive therapy. Treatment emphasizes patient education and autonomy. Dr. Mennella is a proponent of shared decision-making and believes this facilitates a strong therapeutic relationship, greater satisfaction with care, and improved clinical outcomes.
Dr. Mennella is a board-certified adult psychiatrist. Dr. Mennella's practice focuses on medication management and supportive therapy. Treatment emphasizes patient education and autonomy. Dr. Mennella is a proponent of shared decision-making and believes this facilitates a strong therapeutic relationship, greater satisfaction with care, and improved clinical outcomes.
(708) 616-1626 View (708) 616-1626
Photo of Harmony Rich, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Lake County, IL
Harmony Rich
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Highland Park, IL 60035
Getting help shouldn't be hard! Finding the right provider can often be worse than online dating. Are you looking for a medication prescriber who will spend time getting to know you, your unique needs, and actually explain treatment recommendations? I take an integrative and holistic approach to mental health. I focus on the whole person and use evidence-based treatments to guide care. I value the patient experience and want every client to feel fully informed and comfortable with their treatment recommendations. My goal is to create a safe, non-judgemental environment to help support your mental wellness goals.
Getting help shouldn't be hard! Finding the right provider can often be worse than online dating. Are you looking for a medication prescriber who will spend time getting to know you, your unique needs, and actually explain treatment recommendations? I take an integrative and holistic approach to mental health. I focus on the whole person and use evidence-based treatments to guide care. I value the patient experience and want every client to feel fully informed and comfortable with their treatment recommendations. My goal is to create a safe, non-judgemental environment to help support your mental wellness goals.
(224) 504-1167 View (224) 504-1167
Photo of Hone ur Health & Wellness, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Lake County, IL
Hone ur Health & Wellness
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APN, FNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Vernon Hills, IL 60061
My name is Joan Ajide, owner of Hone ur Health & Wellness. I hold a dual board certification with American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a family nurse practitioner and a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I earned both a family nurse practitioner and a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner post graduate certificate from Lewis University. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from University of Illinois in Chicago and a Master of Science in Clinical Nurse Leadership from Saint Xavier University. I have over 15 years of nursing experience in both acute and primary care treating various age groups.
My name is Joan Ajide, owner of Hone ur Health & Wellness. I hold a dual board certification with American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a family nurse practitioner and a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I earned both a family nurse practitioner and a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner post graduate certificate from Lewis University. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from University of Illinois in Chicago and a Master of Science in Clinical Nurse Leadership from Saint Xavier University. I have over 15 years of nursing experience in both acute and primary care treating various age groups.
(773) 389-1455 View (773) 389-1455
Photo of Boski Patel, Psychiatrist in Lake County, IL
Boski Patel
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Lincolnshire, IL 60069
Dr. Boski Patel holds the position of psychiatrist at Talkiatry. She is double board-certified in geriatric and adult psychiatry. She has been practicing for over 3 years. Dr. Patel's practice focuses on medication management. Typically, she offers this in conjunction with supportive therapy in 30-minute follow-up visits. However, occasionally Dr. Patel may believe that additional therapy is also needed and ask that you bring a therapist into your care team to provide the best outcome.
Dr. Boski Patel holds the position of psychiatrist at Talkiatry. She is double board-certified in geriatric and adult psychiatry. She has been practicing for over 3 years. Dr. Patel's practice focuses on medication management. Typically, she offers this in conjunction with supportive therapy in 30-minute follow-up visits. However, occasionally Dr. Patel may believe that additional therapy is also needed and ask that you bring a therapist into your care team to provide the best outcome.
(708) 381-1980 View (708) 381-1980
Photo of Embrace Behavioral Health, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Lake County, IL
Embrace Behavioral Health
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, AGNP, FPA
Verified Verified
Libertyville, IL 60048
Welcome! At Embrace Behavioral Health we are dedicated to providing compassionate and comprehensive mental health care. With expertise in assessment, diagnosis, and medication management, we specialize in anxiety, mood disorders, ADHD, dementia, and much more. We offer personalized treatment plans integrating pharmacotherapy with therapy and lifestyle adjustments for holistic healing.
Welcome! At Embrace Behavioral Health we are dedicated to providing compassionate and comprehensive mental health care. With expertise in assessment, diagnosis, and medication management, we specialize in anxiety, mood disorders, ADHD, dementia, and much more. We offer personalized treatment plans integrating pharmacotherapy with therapy and lifestyle adjustments for holistic healing.
(224) 332-3594 View (224) 332-3594
Photo of Shalini Varma, M.D., Psychiatrist in Lake County, IL
Shalini Varma, M.D.
Psychiatrist, Doctor, BdCert, Meds, COACH, Therapy
Verified Verified
Vernon Hills, IL 60061
Accepting people of all ages within one week! Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, Autism, School and Work Accommodations, Difficulty sleeping, Addictions & Medication. Evening appointments are available. Care provided by me, a Physician, a Double Board Certified MD Psychiatrist may be a more effective approach for you. I am structured and organized with treatment. I also provide neuropsychological and psychological TESTING. I am available for urgent needs. Work together to decrease struggling. US born and educated at Rutgers Medical School & completed Psychiatry Residency at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital.
Accepting people of all ages within one week! Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, Autism, School and Work Accommodations, Difficulty sleeping, Addictions & Medication. Evening appointments are available. Care provided by me, a Physician, a Double Board Certified MD Psychiatrist may be a more effective approach for you. I am structured and organized with treatment. I also provide neuropsychological and psychological TESTING. I am available for urgent needs. Work together to decrease struggling. US born and educated at Rutgers Medical School & completed Psychiatry Residency at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital.
(224) 374-1918 View (224) 374-1918
Photo of Brianne Brown, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Lake County, IL
Brianne Brown
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, FPA, FNP-BC
Verified Verified
Libertyville, IL 60048  (Online Only)
Are you drowning in an ocean of providers to choose from? Are you constantly overthinking? Do you struggle to quiet your racing thoughts, replaying different scenarios in your head? Do you feel like your mood has made it hard to fall asleep or get out of bed? Are you feeling isolated and lonely? You have a million things to do, but feel completely paralyzed. I understand how you feel and want to help you regain control and improve your wellbeing.
Are you drowning in an ocean of providers to choose from? Are you constantly overthinking? Do you struggle to quiet your racing thoughts, replaying different scenarios in your head? Do you feel like your mood has made it hard to fall asleep or get out of bed? Are you feeling isolated and lonely? You have a million things to do, but feel completely paralyzed. I understand how you feel and want to help you regain control and improve your wellbeing.
(847) 973-5890 View (847) 973-5890
Photo of Joan Torrato, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Lake County, IL
Joan Torrato
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
Libertyville, IL 60048
My focus is to give the best possible individualized care to my patients. I will combine evidence-based practice and compassionate care for better patient outcomes.
My focus is to give the best possible individualized care to my patients. I will combine evidence-based practice and compassionate care for better patient outcomes.
(224) 228-3826 View (224) 228-3826
Photo of Sharyl Balkin, Psychiatrist in Lake County, IL
Sharyl Balkin
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Barrington, IL 60010
I attended the University of Florida for my undergraduate degree and went on to complete a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies at Florida State. I earned Certificate of Added Qualifications in psychiatry in 2022. Every visit, I aim to supply an inclusive, transparent, and team-based environment. I am a LGBTIQA+ ally.
I attended the University of Florida for my undergraduate degree and went on to complete a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies at Florida State. I earned Certificate of Added Qualifications in psychiatry in 2022. Every visit, I aim to supply an inclusive, transparent, and team-based environment. I am a LGBTIQA+ ally.
(847) 851-3249 View (847) 851-3249
Photo of Thrive Psychiatric Services, Esther Harris, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Lake County, IL
Thrive Psychiatric Services, Esther Harris
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP, FNP, RN
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Grayslake, IL 60030  (Online Only)
Waitlist for new clients
I am a caring, compassionate and approachable provider who enjoys helping my patients discover hope, engage in healing and begin the process of living their lives to the fullest. I provide medication management and basic psychotherapy in Grayslake, IL. I treat all ages including children 6 years and up. Being licensed in both psychiatric and family medicine allows me to provide a unique perspective in treating mental health conditions. Let me use my experience and symptom-targeted treatment planning to help you manage the symptoms that are causing you challenges and stress in your life.
I am a caring, compassionate and approachable provider who enjoys helping my patients discover hope, engage in healing and begin the process of living their lives to the fullest. I provide medication management and basic psychotherapy in Grayslake, IL. I treat all ages including children 6 years and up. Being licensed in both psychiatric and family medicine allows me to provide a unique perspective in treating mental health conditions. Let me use my experience and symptom-targeted treatment planning to help you manage the symptoms that are causing you challenges and stress in your life.
(224) 241-6487 View (224) 241-6487
Photo of Jennie Krull, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Lake County, IL
Jennie Krull
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNPBC, FNP-BC
Not Verified Not Verified
Barrington, IL 60010
Jennie Krull, MSN, PMHNP-BC, FNP-BC, is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, who also is Board Certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She has experience treating patients with acute and chronic psychiatric disorders across the lifespan and across practice settings, from outpatient clinics to nursing homes to addiction treatment centers. She specializes in treating ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, PTSD/trauma, anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, serious mental illness, and addiction.
Jennie Krull, MSN, PMHNP-BC, FNP-BC, is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, who also is Board Certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She has experience treating patients with acute and chronic psychiatric disorders across the lifespan and across practice settings, from outpatient clinics to nursing homes to addiction treatment centers. She specializes in treating ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, PTSD/trauma, anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, serious mental illness, and addiction.
(224) 250-2844 View (224) 250-2844

See more therapy options for Lake County

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Number of Psychiatrists in Lake County, IL

90+

Average cost per session

$237

Psychiatrists in Lake County, IL who prioritize treating:

98% Depression
98% Anxiety
87% Bipolar Disorder
79% ADHD
77% Medication Management
76% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
76% Trauma and PTSD

Average years in practice

10 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

90% BlueCross and BlueShield
83% Aetna
82% Cigna and Evernorth

How Psychiatrists in Lake County, IL see their clients

70% In Person and Online
30% Online Only

Gender breakdown

70% Female
27% Male
3% Non-Binary

FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Lake County?

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.