Types of Providers

There are different types of mental/behavioral health providers. Those most commonly used by students include the following (for more details per category visit: NAMI

Type of providers Description
Psychiatrists Psychiatrists are licensed medical doctors who have completed psychiatric training. They can diagnose mental health conditions, prescribe and monitor medications, and provide therapy.
Clinical Social Workers Clinical social workers are trained to evaluate a person’s mental health and use therapeutic techniques based on specific training programs. They are also trained in case management and advocacy services.
Psychologists Psychologists hold a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, or another specialty (such as counseling or education). They evaluate an individual's mental health using clinical interviews and psychological evaluations, and may use testing. They can make diagnoses and provide individual and group therapy.
Psychiatric or Mental Health Nurse Practitioners Psychiatric or mental health nurse practitioners can provide assessment, diagnosis and therapy for mental health conditions or substance use disorders. In some states, they are also qualified to prescribe and monitor medications. Requirements also vary by state as to the degree of supervision necessary by a licensed psychiatrist.
Counselors, Clinicians, Therapists These masters-level professionals are trained to evaluate a person’s mental health and use therapeutic techniques based on specific training programs. They operate under a variety of job titles—including counselor, clinician, therapist or something else—based on the treatment setting.