Psychiatrists are medical specialists who treat mental health problems. They generally only treat people who have severe or long-lasting problems.

Psychiatrists are experts on medication and can help:

  • Work out what medication or medications are best.
  • People who are experiencing side effects from their medication or interactions with other medications.
  • People who have depression combined with other medical problems.

You can only see a psychiatrist by getting a referral from a GP

A GP might refer you to a psychiatrist if you are not getting better quickly. Most psychiatrists work in private practice, but some are attached to hospitals.

Only in the most severe cases of depression, or where there is a danger a person might harm themselves, is a depressed person admitted to hospital. Most people with depression can be treated in the community.