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Questions to Ask a Provider

Don't be afraid to ask questions at your first appointment with a mental health provider to decide if they will work for you. Here is a checklist of common questions. Decide which ones are most important to you and bring them with you.

Provider Specific

  • What are your credentials?
  • Are you licensed in this state?
  • What level of education do you have?
  • Do you have a particular approach, expertise or training?
  • What experience do you have treating people with my condition?
  • In your practice, do you have someone who prescribes medicine?
  • Do you deal directly with my insurance plan or do I need to?
  • How much will treatment cost me? Am I responsible for a co-payment?
  • Do you have admitting privileges at a hospital?
  • Are you willing to communicate with my other doctors and therapists to coordinate care?


  • How hard is it to schedule an appointment?
  • What times are you available to see me?
  • How often do you recommend seeing me?
  • Do you accept walk-in appointments?
  • Do you require appointments for everything or can I conduct some transactions (refills, adjustments, referrals) over the phone?
  • What happens if I need to cancel or change an appointment? Is there a fee?

After Hour

  • How hard is it to contact you outside of business hours?
  • Do you charge for non-emergency consults after hours?
  • Will I be able to contact you in an emergency?
  • Do you have an off-site receptionist during off-hours to assist me in the case of an emergency?
  • If you aren't available, is there a staff member who is "on call"?
  • What kind of other staff do you use - interns, students, physician's assistants, nurse practitioners, etc?

Appointment Time

  • What can I expect during a typical appointment? How long will it last?
  • Will I get time to ask questions?
  • Will you be asking about other elements of my life?
  • Do I have to talk about things I do not want to?


  • What are the risks and benefits associated with my treatment?
  • How soon could I expect to see signs of feeling better?
  • How long will my therapy sessions last?


  • Are there going to be side effects to my medication?
  • Are there alternative treatments that would be beneficial to recovery?
  • Will symptoms return in the future? What will the warning signs be?

Talk to a Pharmacist

Do you have extra questions about medications? MHA has a partnership with Walgreens and together we want to help. Visit their Pharmacy Chat and speak to someone today for extra help.