- If you have a university within a reasonable driving distance, call their Department of Psychiatry. These psychiatrists are often on the cutting edge of research.
- If the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) has a branch in your area, get in touch with their offices for a reference. You can also get in touch with their state offices.
- Join the local chapter of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (formerly NDMDA). This way you can ask individual members for their recommendations and be part of a supportive group at the same time.
- Phone the psychiatric ward of a hospital in your area and ask the head nurse whom she would see if she needed a psychiatrist.
- Review the list of approved mental health care providers from your insurance company.
- Ask your general practitioner and therapist for their recommendations.
- Scan the yellow pages. Look for certifications such as “Board Certified in Psychiatry” or “Board Certified in Pediatric Psychiatry.” Those who specialize in Psychopharmacology may be a good choice.
- You may want to contact the information and referral (I&R) services of the United Way in your town – particularly if you are in need of financial assistance.
- Many companies offer employee assistance programs that may be able to provide the names of psychiatrists. Ask your Human Resources Department for information.
- Call family members and friends for their advice.
- Telephone the referral service of the hospitals in your city.
- Your pastor or rabbi may be able to suggest the names of appropriate psychiatrists to you.
- Before you start, think about what is important to you. Do you have a strong preference for a male or female doctor? Are the doctor’s religious beliefs an issue for you?
- Set up your first visit as a short consultation. This will allow you to meet the psychiatrist and his staff without shelling out a lot of money. Some may offer a free consultation.