Psychiatrists in Kentucky

View cities and counties in Kentucky
Photo of Lacy Pippin, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Kentucky
Lacy Pippin
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40202
I'm Lacy Pippin, a board-certified psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner serving patients in Illinois and Kentucky. With over 6 years of experience in psychiatric-mental health and substance use settings, I specialize in treating various mental health disorders including Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Trauma, and Grief. My approach focuses on patient-centered care, empowering individuals to actively participate in their treatment journey. Together, we navigate the process of mental health, fostering understanding and healing.
I'm Lacy Pippin, a board-certified psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner serving patients in Illinois and Kentucky. With over 6 years of experience in psychiatric-mental health and substance use settings, I specialize in treating various mental health disorders including Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Trauma, and Grief. My approach focuses on patient-centered care, empowering individuals to actively participate in their treatment journey. Together, we navigate the process of mental health, fostering understanding and healing.
(502) 369-0116 View (502) 369-0116
Photo of Wellsprings Wellness, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Kentucky
Wellsprings Wellness
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Verified Verified
Somerset, KY 42501
Wellsprings Wellness Practitioners, Clinicians & staff provide a compassionate and caring environment to promote personal healing and growth.  We focus on each client's needs while honoring their individual beliefs and values. We pride ourselves in providing Integrated Care to our Patients. Integrated Care blends the expertise of mental health, substance use, and primary care practitioners, with feedback from patients and their caregivers. This creates a team-based approach where mental health care and general medical care are offered in the same setting.
Wellsprings Wellness Practitioners, Clinicians & staff provide a compassionate and caring environment to promote personal healing and growth.  We focus on each client's needs while honoring their individual beliefs and values. We pride ourselves in providing Integrated Care to our Patients. Integrated Care blends the expertise of mental health, substance use, and primary care practitioners, with feedback from patients and their caregivers. This creates a team-based approach where mental health care and general medical care are offered in the same setting.
(606) 217-6938 View (606) 217-6938
Photo of Brittany Nicole Martin, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Kentucky
Brittany Nicole Martin
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Louisville, KY 40218  (Online Only)
By using a holistic approach, I assess and treat individuals as a whole. Treating you holistically means I will monitor lab work, blood pressure, heart rate, weight, sleep, diet and exercise habits, collaboration with your other providers, and lifestyle counseling. We will touch on each of these subjects during your visits. My mission is to develop a therapeutic relationship, listen to your concerns, and together customize a treatment plan with medication management and lifestyle counseling. I do offer a free 15 minute consultation to discuss what I do, go over my process and decide if this is a good fit for you!
By using a holistic approach, I assess and treat individuals as a whole. Treating you holistically means I will monitor lab work, blood pressure, heart rate, weight, sleep, diet and exercise habits, collaboration with your other providers, and lifestyle counseling. We will touch on each of these subjects during your visits. My mission is to develop a therapeutic relationship, listen to your concerns, and together customize a treatment plan with medication management and lifestyle counseling. I do offer a free 15 minute consultation to discuss what I do, go over my process and decide if this is a good fit for you!
(502) 237-6992 View (502) 237-6992
Photo of Jill Patterson, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Kentucky
Jill Patterson
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP, FNP
Verified Verified
Lexington, KY 40514  (Online Only)
I am a licensed Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who has been practicing for 25 years. I have practiced inpatient and outpatient psychiatry. I am excited to be offering medication management telehealth. Psychiatry is my passion and I pride myself on my diagnosis and treatment skills, but also the commitment I have to provide my clients with devoted attention to their own specific treatment plan.
I am a licensed Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who has been practicing for 25 years. I have practiced inpatient and outpatient psychiatry. I am excited to be offering medication management telehealth. Psychiatry is my passion and I pride myself on my diagnosis and treatment skills, but also the commitment I have to provide my clients with devoted attention to their own specific treatment plan.
(859) 765-7522 View (859) 765-7522
Jessica Price
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, NP
Verified Verified
Lexington, KY 40509
Jessica Price is a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. She holds active memberships in the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APRN) and the American Nurses Association (ANA). She received her master's degree in nursing from Northern Kentucky University and her bachelor's degree in Nursing from Kentucky State University. Her previous work experience includes both hospital and private practice settings in both inpatient and outpatient units.
Jessica Price is a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. She holds active memberships in the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APRN) and the American Nurses Association (ANA). She received her master's degree in nursing from Northern Kentucky University and her bachelor's degree in Nursing from Kentucky State University. Her previous work experience includes both hospital and private practice settings in both inpatient and outpatient units.
(859) 350-6419 View (859) 350-6419
Photo of Sarah Schirmer, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Kentucky
Sarah Schirmer
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, APRN, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40218
I work with people who encounter frequent, strong emotions that they experience as problematic and then find themselves avoiding the life they want to live. My patients may struggle with intense anxiety and worry, distressing depression, or problems with focus, concentration, and productivity. We work together to remind you of your strengths, values, and goals and create a holistic plan that works for you. Instead of avoiding your life, you will learn to accept and tolerate your emotions and get back to doing the things that are meaningful for you.
I work with people who encounter frequent, strong emotions that they experience as problematic and then find themselves avoiding the life they want to live. My patients may struggle with intense anxiety and worry, distressing depression, or problems with focus, concentration, and productivity. We work together to remind you of your strengths, values, and goals and create a holistic plan that works for you. Instead of avoiding your life, you will learn to accept and tolerate your emotions and get back to doing the things that are meaningful for you.
(502) 237-1376 View (502) 237-1376
Photo of Jeffrey Tuttle, Psychiatrist in Kentucky
Jeffrey Tuttle
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Lexington, KY 40507
I am a licensed psychiatrist practicing psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, and psychopharmacology. I believe psychotherapy is an important but frequently overlooked treatment for many mental health problems like depression and anxiety. Psychotherapy and psychoanalysis help people address emotional problems and internal conflicts in order to increase self-understanding and freedom. Professional advice about personal issues or emotional concerns can be invaluable in confronting seeming roadblocks that prevent a person from experiencing a sense of emotional freedom. I treat older adolescents and adults.
I am a licensed psychiatrist practicing psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, and psychopharmacology. I believe psychotherapy is an important but frequently overlooked treatment for many mental health problems like depression and anxiety. Psychotherapy and psychoanalysis help people address emotional problems and internal conflicts in order to increase self-understanding and freedom. Professional advice about personal issues or emotional concerns can be invaluable in confronting seeming roadblocks that prevent a person from experiencing a sense of emotional freedom. I treat older adolescents and adults.
(859) 537-7332 View (859) 537-7332
Photo of Lonna Louise Larger, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Kentucky
Lonna Louise Larger
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNPBC, BC
Verified Verified
Wilder, KY 41071
Hi there! I am Lonna Larger and I am a board certified psychiatric nurse practitioner. I look forward to getting to know you and helping you on your path to wellness. I practice evidence-based medicine with a focus on trauma-informed care. Are you struggling with anxiety or flashbacks? Do you feel as if no one listens? Please come see me. I am Board Certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. If you would like to schedule an intake with me, please call 859-572-0400.
Hi there! I am Lonna Larger and I am a board certified psychiatric nurse practitioner. I look forward to getting to know you and helping you on your path to wellness. I practice evidence-based medicine with a focus on trauma-informed care. Are you struggling with anxiety or flashbacks? Do you feel as if no one listens? Please come see me. I am Board Certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. If you would like to schedule an intake with me, please call 859-572-0400.
(859) 572-0400 View (859) 572-0400
Photo of PRISM Wellness Solutions, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Kentucky
PRISM Wellness Solutions
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
Lexington, KY 40513
I have been a Critical Care Registered Nurse for over 10 years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I witnessed a significant shortage of mental healthcare availability, which led me to transition into the field of Psychiatric Mental Healthcare in order to provide custom, client-centered services. I hold a Masters of Nursing as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from Northern Kentucky University and I am board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
I have been a Critical Care Registered Nurse for over 10 years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I witnessed a significant shortage of mental healthcare availability, which led me to transition into the field of Psychiatric Mental Healthcare in order to provide custom, client-centered services. I hold a Masters of Nursing as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from Northern Kentucky University and I am board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
(502) 496-2519 View (502) 496-2519
Photo of Mottsin Thomas, Psychiatrist in Kentucky
Mottsin Thomas
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40243  (Online Only)
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
(502) 251-9870 View (502) 251-9870
Photo of Mottsin Thomas, Psychiatrist in Kentucky
Mottsin Thomas
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40299  (Online Only)
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
We know asking for help is a challenging thing to do. We also know that finding a provider you trust to help you navigate mental health care can be a challenge. That's why we're here, and we're doing things differently. As a patient at Bonmente, you enjoy comprehensive treatments customized specifically for your unique circumstances, convenient telemedicine appointments that allow you to see your provider from the comfort of home, an online patient portal that lets you communicate directly with your provider, and a highly trained support team that makes becoming a patient as simple as it should be. Now, welcoming new patients!
(502) 547-0934 View (502) 547-0934
Photo of Hillary Smith, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Kentucky
Hillary Smith
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, PMHNP-B, FNP-BC
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40207  (Online Only)
I am a dual-certified family & psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner with 14 years of experience. I believe the journey toward mental health should be a collaborative experience between client & provider & my goal as we work together is that this becomes a positive and even enjoyable process toward becoming the best version of yourself.
I am a dual-certified family & psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner with 14 years of experience. I believe the journey toward mental health should be a collaborative experience between client & provider & my goal as we work together is that this becomes a positive and even enjoyable process toward becoming the best version of yourself.
(502) 409-6993 View (502) 409-6993
Photo of Naomi Johnson, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Kentucky
Naomi Johnson
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
Lexington, KY 40502
I completed training in psychology, nursing, and psychiatric nursing. Before becoming a nurse, I worked as a social worker. My experience working in the mental health field has led me to understand how difficult asking for help can be for you. Whether it is your first time seeking help or your hundredth time, I am here to help guide you through your journey to be YOUR best self. I can help with anxiety, depression, bipolar, PTSD, and various other conditions. I can provide care in person or via telehealth.
I completed training in psychology, nursing, and psychiatric nursing. Before becoming a nurse, I worked as a social worker. My experience working in the mental health field has led me to understand how difficult asking for help can be for you. Whether it is your first time seeking help or your hundredth time, I am here to help guide you through your journey to be YOUR best self. I can help with anxiety, depression, bipolar, PTSD, and various other conditions. I can provide care in person or via telehealth.
(859) 517-4113 View (859) 517-4113
Photo of Patricia Estes, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Kentucky
Patricia Estes
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP-B
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40207
Amber Estes is a Board-Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Kentucky who has been practicing since 2020. She has an MSN from Northern Kentucky University, a BSN in Nursing from University of Kentucky, and a BA in Psychology from University of Kentucky. Amber specifically has experience in helping patients cope with stressors associated with chronic health conditions and other major life stressors. She strives to provide individualized care that supports the unique differences of each client she sees. Outside of work, Amber enjoys hiking, spending time with family, and traveling.
Amber Estes is a Board-Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Kentucky who has been practicing since 2020. She has an MSN from Northern Kentucky University, a BSN in Nursing from University of Kentucky, and a BA in Psychology from University of Kentucky. Amber specifically has experience in helping patients cope with stressors associated with chronic health conditions and other major life stressors. She strives to provide individualized care that supports the unique differences of each client she sees. Outside of work, Amber enjoys hiking, spending time with family, and traveling.
(502) 563-1286 View (502) 563-1286
Photo of Kristin Law, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Kentucky
Kristin Law
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APRN, PMHNPBC
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40223
Kristin is a compassionate Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) who believes in treating all people equally, reducing the stigma of mental health, and going above and beyond for her patients. She has been in the nursing field since 2013, though she has been passionate about mental health for as long as she can remember. She has experience with patients from a variety of backgrounds, ages, settings, and diagnoses.
Kristin is a compassionate Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) who believes in treating all people equally, reducing the stigma of mental health, and going above and beyond for her patients. She has been in the nursing field since 2013, though she has been passionate about mental health for as long as she can remember. She has experience with patients from a variety of backgrounds, ages, settings, and diagnoses.
(502) 236-5536 View (502) 236-5536
Photo of Kimberly Mosley, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Kentucky
Kimberly Mosley
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, ANP-C, PMHNP, BC
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40218
Management of mental health issues has three components: you, your therapist, and your PMHNP. There is no one component that is better than the next. Mental health care is an ongoing treatment that relies on positive intentions and manifestations. The combined work of the client (you), therapist, and medication provider (PMHNP), allows the client to reach the goal of being the best version he/she can be.
Management of mental health issues has three components: you, your therapist, and your PMHNP. There is no one component that is better than the next. Mental health care is an ongoing treatment that relies on positive intentions and manifestations. The combined work of the client (you), therapist, and medication provider (PMHNP), allows the client to reach the goal of being the best version he/she can be.
(502) 677-3782 View (502) 677-3782
Photo of Baillie McCane, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Kentucky
Baillie McCane
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-B
Verified Verified
Lancaster, KY 40444
Communication and trust are key. I believe in creating a safe and supportive environment where clients feel comfortable discussing their experiences and emotions. I help clients be the best version of themselves. I create individualized treatment plans based on the client’s needs.
Communication and trust are key. I believe in creating a safe and supportive environment where clients feel comfortable discussing their experiences and emotions. I help clients be the best version of themselves. I create individualized treatment plans based on the client’s needs.
(859) 374-3784 View (859) 374-3784
Photo of Dr. Ethan Short, Psychiatrist in Kentucky
Dr. Ethan Short
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40241
My calling is to care for those struggling under the gravity of severe mental illness including schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, addictions (opiates, methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, alcohol, tobacco, etc.), PTSD, depression and anxiety disorders, and adult ADHD. I am trained in multiple psychotherapies, but primarily practice Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as an alternative to medication, or as an adjunctive treatment for the above conditions.
My calling is to care for those struggling under the gravity of severe mental illness including schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, addictions (opiates, methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, alcohol, tobacco, etc.), PTSD, depression and anxiety disorders, and adult ADHD. I am trained in multiple psychotherapies, but primarily practice Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as an alternative to medication, or as an adjunctive treatment for the above conditions.
(502) 806-8395 View (502) 806-8395
Photo of Becky Brandenburg, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Kentucky
Becky Brandenburg
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN, FNP, PMHNP
Verified Verified
Richmond, KY 40475  (Online Only)
Accepting new patients via telehealth with PsychMind Counseling and Psychiatry! I am available during the week as well as weekend and evening appointments to help fit your busy lifestyle. Please reach out to our intake team for available appts. If you do not see a time listed, please reach out to me and I can make accommodations as my schedule allows.
Accepting new patients via telehealth with PsychMind Counseling and Psychiatry! I am available during the week as well as weekend and evening appointments to help fit your busy lifestyle. Please reach out to our intake team for available appts. If you do not see a time listed, please reach out to me and I can make accommodations as my schedule allows.
(859) 568-4112 View (859) 568-4112
Photo of Dr. Whitney Gilley, Psychiatrist in Kentucky
Dr. Whitney Gilley
Psychiatrist, MD
Verified Verified
Madisonville, KY 42431  (Online Only)
Not accepting new clients
This is a small practice where I believe in taking time with patients. As an M.D. specialist in psychiatry, I offer weekly therapy with the option for medication. My focus is helping adults manage stress and heal from conditions including depression, anxiety, trauma, and PTSD. I am certified as a Clinical Trauma Professional and stay up-to-date on the latest in our understanding of how stress and trauma affect our body, mood, and relationships. My sincere goal is not just to treat symptoms but to help patients take steps to improve their overall quality of life.
This is a small practice where I believe in taking time with patients. As an M.D. specialist in psychiatry, I offer weekly therapy with the option for medication. My focus is helping adults manage stress and heal from conditions including depression, anxiety, trauma, and PTSD. I am certified as a Clinical Trauma Professional and stay up-to-date on the latest in our understanding of how stress and trauma affect our body, mood, and relationships. My sincere goal is not just to treat symptoms but to help patients take steps to improve their overall quality of life.
(502) 610-4747 View (502) 610-4747

How does your Psychiatrist compare?

Average cost per session

$150

Psychiatrists in Kentucky who prioritize treating:

92% Depression
92% Anxiety
83% Bipolar Disorder
80% Medication Management
78% Trauma and PTSD
73% ADHD
69% Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)

Average years in practice

8 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

82% Aetna
80% Cigna and Evernorth
72% UnitedHealthcare UHC | UBH

How Psychiatrists in Kentucky see their clients

75% In Person and Online
25% Online Only

Gender breakdown

78% Female
22% Male

FAQs - About Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses

How can I find a psychiatrist in Kentucky?

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.