Better Health Channel


A psychiatrist is a medical specialist who can diagnose and treat mental health issues and emotional problems. Psychiatrists help people by using a range of approaches including therapies such as counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy, as well as medication.

Services provided

  • Diagnosis, treatment, management and prevention of mental health issues
  • Talk-based therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy, psychodynamic therapy and family therapy 
  • Prescribing appropriate medication
  • Lifestyle and behavioural advice


You need a referral from a doctor to see a psychiatrist.

How to access

Visit The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists to find a psychiatrist near you.


The cost of a psychiatrist varies depending on the provider. Contact the service before you attend if you would like more information about cost.

Psychiatry may be partly or fully covered by Medicare.

Some psychiatry services such as family group therapy are subsidised by Medicare.

Psychiatry fees are covered by some private health funds, but the amount will depend on your insurance policy. Contact your insurer for more information.



Conventional healthcare.


Australian Health PractitionerAgency (AHPRA).


Psychiatrists must be registered with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP). You can check if your psychiatrist is registered via the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) website.

Minimum qualifications

Fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (FRANZCP).


Some psychiatrists may specialise in specific areas, such as different age and community groups, drug and alcohol issues or eating disorders, so choose a psychiatrist who suits your needs.


For crisis counselling, call:

  • Lifeline 131 114 (Australia-wide)
  • SuicideLine 1300 651 251 (Victoria only)