For some people, medication may support treatment for mental health disorders.
If you have any questions, our behavioral health navigators are available to help connect you with a provider or services near you.
Who Can Prescribe Psychiatric Medications?
Primary Care Providers
Primary care providers can prescribe medications, including antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication.
If you believe your mental or emotional health may benefit from prescription medications, begin by bringing up these concerns with your primary care provider, who can prescribe medications such as antidepressants.
If you would like to see a physician specializing in behavioral health, ask your primary care provider for a referral to a psychiatrist or psychiatric advanced practice nurse.
Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurses
Psychiatric advanced practice nurses (APRN), also called psychiatric or mental health nurse practitioners, can diagnose mental health disorders and prescribe medications.
A psychiatric nurse practitioner is a nurse who has received masters or doctorate level training specifically related to psychiatry.
Psychiatrists are specially trained physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, emotional disturbance and abnormal behavior.
Treatment from a psychiatrist may include the use of medication along with other forms of therapy, such as psychotherapy (talk therapy).
You may benefit from seeing a psychiatrist if you experience symptoms that are sudden and intense, long-term problems that interfere with your everyday life or if other forms of treatment have not adequately managed your symptoms.
What to Discuss
Some mental health providers – such as a psychologist, counselor, therapist or social worker – may be able to provide some forms of therapy but do not prescribe medications.
If you are seeing one of these providers and are interested in seeking medication, tell them your concerns and ask for a referral to a provider experienced in treating your condition.
When you meet with your provider to discuss medication, be prepared to discuss:
- Your current symptoms
- Your mental and physical health history
- Any medications you’re currently taking or have taken in the past