Finding Help with Psychiatric Medications: Atlanta’s Geriatric Psychiatrists

In our last newsletter, we discussed medication issues and the importance of medication reconciliation and regular medication reviews to make sure all of the right medications are being taken. Medication issues are no small matter for older adults. The financial and physical costs of taking too many medications can be quite high.

Our primary recommendation from that newsletter was to talk to your doctor regularly about all of your medications.  The goal of this is to:

1. Verify your medication list, making sure you both know what you are taking.
2. Make sure you are only taking what is needed.
3. Evaluate if all medications are necessary and are worth any potential side effects.

But what if your primary care doctor says that she cannot oversee or manage your psychiatric medications? What should an older adult do to get good advice on their medications?

Geriatric Psychiatrists

A geriatric psychiatrist is a doctor with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders in older adults (e.g., depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, dementia, etc.).  A geriatric psychiatrist may be preferred over a psychiatrist that specializes in adults because older adults have special physical, emotional, and social needs that impact their mental health treatment plans.  Keeping this in mind, geriatric psychiatrists take a comprehensive approach that addresses co-existing medical illness and medications, family issues, social concerns and environment issues.

Establishing a relationship with a geriatric psychiatrist is usually recommended for our older adults dealing with mental health issues. We value their knowledge and approach and have witnessed the significant changes that usually follow their interventions.

Atlanta’s Geriatric Psychiatrists

Atlanta, like most communities, has a shortage of geriatric psychiatrists. We are lucky than most communities, but it can still be frustrating to find a geriatric psychiatrist and to get a timely appointment.  You can begin the process by asking your primary care physician for a referral. If she does not have a geriatric psychiatrist referral for you, please contact our office at (678) 637-7166 or  We would be happy to help you navigate this issue.

Mental Health Crisis

If you are in a mental health crisis, it may be difficult to wait for a doctor’s appointment. Here is a list of the mental health emergency resources in Georgia:

Georgia Crisis and Access Line— A free 24/7 helpline providing mental health crisis assistance and access to mental health resources throughout the state of Georgia

9-1-1-For emergencies in which law enforcement may be called, ask for a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officer
Dial 9-1-1

If you are in the Metro Atlanta area, many of our psychiatric hospitals are available for walk-in assessments 24/7:

Ridgeview Institute,3995 S Cobb Dr, Smyrna, GA 30080
Peachford Hospital,2151 Peachford Rd, Atlanta, GA 30338

For questions about Mindful Transitions or to learn more about our team of Clinical Social Workers, please visit our FAQ page, call us at (678) 637-7166, or email us at .
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