Anxiety affects more than 40 million adults in the U.S. Over 264 million people across the world have depression. If you’re suffering from either of these conditions, you’re certainly not alone.
But maybe you’ve struggled with getting help. Maybe care has been out of your reach because you don’t have health insurance or mental health care isn’t covered under your plan.
Brightside offers online help for depression and anxiety using telehealth services. Care is affordable, you’ll work with real doctors, and you’re in complete control of your treatment.
How Does Brightside Health Work?
Brightside provides care for anxiety and depression through an online platform using FDA-approved medication and therapy. Their services are available to adults aged 18 years of age and older.
According to the company, 83% of members feel better within 12 weeks.
Brightside offers personalized care from real experts. Your Psychiatric Care Team may include a psychiatrist, doctor and/or psychiatric nurse practitioner. Your team of providers will be with your every step of the way, helping you make adjustments to your treatment plan as you need it.
Some of the conditions they help treat include:
Generalized anxiety disorder
Major depressive disorder
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Acute stress disorder
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
Brightside has been featured in numerous publications, including Forbes, Glamour, Fast Company GQ, GMA and more.
Members praise the service for its intuitiveness, user-friendliness and effectiveness. Brightside also actively listens to feedback from members and makes changes as necessary to meet the needs and demands of their users.
How the Process Works
1. Take the Free Assessment
The process starts with a free assessment. The questionnaire consists of 25 questions, including:
How often you felt low or uninterested in things you love
How often you felt tired over the last two weeks
How often you experienced poor appetite or overeating
How often you felt bad about yourself
Whether you’re having trouble concentrating
Once you complete the questionnaire, you can view your results right on your smartphone. The goal of the questionnaire, which they call Brightguide, is to help determine whether medication, therapy or a combination of both is the right choice for you.
Through Brightside’s platform, you can use their science-based symptom tracker, which is based on your personal symptoms, to stay on top of and in control of your symptoms.
2. Get Matched with Your Care Team
After taking the assessment, you’ll be matched with a doctor and go through a comprehensive video session. During your session, you’ll discuss how you’re feeling and figure out the next steps to take with the help of your doctor.
During your consultation, you’ll also talk about your care plan and have the opportunity to answer questions.
3. Follow the Plan
If your doctor prescribes medication, it will be delivered to your doorstep in about 4-5 business days. Refills, if authorized, will arrive monthly.
If you decide that therapy is the best option, you’ll have unlimited messaging available and access to interactive lessons.
Along the way, you’ll report back to your doctor to talk about what’s working, what isn’t and what to do next.
What About Insurance?
Brightside does not accept insurance payments for the services of providers or therapists. They are transparent about their prices, which makes it easier to prepare for your treatment.
The company does accept HSA/FSA payments.
Who is Brightside For?
Brightside is for people who are experiencing depression or anxiety and may benefit from treatment.
But it’s important to note that the company offers remote services, which won’t be a good fit for everyone. Brightside may not be a good fit for people in the following situations or conditions:
Active suicide planning or previous suicide attempt
High-risk of self-harm behavior
Schizophrenia or symptoms of psychosis
Borderline personality disorder
Bipolar disorder or symptoms of mania
Eating disorder involving high-risk symptoms
Seizures, kidney disease, liver disease or long QT
Brightside Counseling Services
Brightside’s goal is to offer comprehensive care. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so treatment plans are personalized to your needs. Some members thrive on therapy alone, others need medication, some need a combination of both.
The good news is that you’re in control of your treatment, so you can take the recommendations from Brightside and make your own decision on the care you want.
Brightside has three main types of counseling services:
Brightside helps members find the right medication for their needs, and then delivers that medication to their doorsteps.
The Psychiatric Provider on your team will find your FDA-approved medication match. Brightside offers more RX options, and your matches are based on your personal data points as well as research.
The process starts with your Psychiatric Provider, who will talk to you about how you’re feeling and work with you to decide the next best steps. You’ll use the Your Path system to track your symptoms and side effects. Your Psychiatric Provider will make recommendations based on your progress through Your Path.
You can check in with your provider whenever you need. They can make adjustments to your medication, dosage and more. With Brightside, you get unlimited video visits and messaging.
Currently, Brightside’s medication service is available in the following states:
How Does Medication Delivery Work?
The psychiatric providers at Brightside can take up to 48 hours to finalize a care plan for you. Any included prescriptions will be delivered 5-7 days from the time of your plan finalization. You can log into your Dashboard at any time to view the progress of your medications as well as instructions from your care provider and information on refills.
If you don’t feel that your medication is helping or the right fit for you, you can click the “Request a Review” button on your medication card. Your provider will then be in touch to follow-up on your concerns.
Brightside’s team of therapists are there to guide and support you on your journey. Your therapist will be licensed in your state, hold a master’s degree or higher and be background checked.
Brightside will connect you with a therapist who will specializes in anxiety and depression. Their therapists are empathetic and there to help give you guidance and insights. Along with unlimited messaging, you will receive monthly video sessions with your therapist through the Zoom platform.
Their therapy program includes evidence-based lessons that are interactive and help give you the tools you need to move forward. Your therapist will work with you to help you build the skills you need to feel better, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
Scheduling video sessions is easy and flexible. The therapists at Brightside do their best to work with your schedule to ensure you get the care you need when it’s most convenient for you. If you’re unable to make a session or miss one, your therapist will try to reschedule your session within 24 hours.
Best of all, the therapists at Brightside are empathetic. They understand what you’re going through and the difficulties you face.
Like with the Medication program, you will be using Your Path to track your symptoms and progress. You can also communicate with your therapist right through here to keep you in control of your care.
Brightside’s therapy services are available in the following states:
Both Medication and Therapy
Brightside’s most comprehensive plan includes both medication and evidence-based therapy. With this program, you’ll work with a therapist and psychiatric provider to create a personalized treatment plan.
With this program, you get the following:
Unlimited messaging with your care providers
Monthly video sessions
Follow-up video sessions when needed
Online Depression Medications Available from Brightside
Brightside offers antidepressants online if their psychiatric providers feel that medication will help with treatment.
The psychiatric providers at Brightside can prescribe a variety of medications, including:
Brightside Health Costs
Brightside is very transparent about their pricing. Each plan clearly outlines what’s included and the cost.
Here’s a breakdown of what Brightside Health costs:
FDA-Approved Medication program: $95/month + Pharmacy copay or a $15 charge per medication
Therapy + Medication: $299/month
Brightside often offers promotions for the first month of treatment to make care even more affordable.
How do these prices compare to traditional in-person therapy and medication treatments?
On average, therapy costs $60-$120 per session without insurance, or $20-$50 per session with insurance
The cost of medication can vary wildly, depending on the medication itself and your insurance coverage. But antidepressants can cost hundreds of dollars without insurance.
If you book four weekly therapist visits a month and consider the cost of medication, Brightside is a more affordable option. You only receive monthly video call sessions, but you get unlimited messaging, which allows you to reach out to your providers anytime you need.
Brightside gives you the tools you need to help take back control of your mental health, and most members feel better within the first 12 weeks.
What if You Want to Cancel Your Medication Subscription?
Brightside makes it easy to cancel your medication subscription. Just log into the Brightside Portal, choose “Settings” and then “Manage Plan.” You’ll have the option to cancel your treatment plan from here.
Brightside does note that treatment is something that takes time. Successful treatment can take 9-12 months or longer. Many members start feeling better after just a few months.
There is no magic solution for anxiety and depression. It can take some time to see results, so you’re encouraged to continue with your treatment plan if possible.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that if you decide that canceling is the right option for you, your doctor will not be able to refill prescriptions.
Brightside Reviews: What are Members Saying?
Brightside’s services sound great on paper, but what are members saying? Are they having positive or negative experiences? Are they feeling any better with the help of Brightside?
Most people love Brightside. For many, it’s the first time they’ve been able to afford and access the help they need to start feeling like themselves again.
Members say that Brightside is:
Helping them get back on the right track with their mental health
Easy to use and gives you access to quality doctors
Non-judgmental and empathetic
Equipped with a team of professionals that truly care
Consistent thanks to their weekly check-ins
Of course, some members have complaints. Many members wish that they could get more than video session with a therapist each month. It’s important to note that you can pay for additional video sessions if you need them.
Some people have found that the online platform really doesn’t work best for them. That’s okay. Some people see better results with in-person treatment. But even these individuals say that Brightside has changed their lives because they still have access to much-needed medication and support from their doctor.
The Bottom Line
Brightside makes depression and anxiety care more accessible. Depending on your budget and needs, you can choose a treatment plan that will work best for you. With access to experienced, empathetic doctors licensed in your state, you’ll receive quality care. Sure, you’ll have to put in the work, but even with in-person care, hard work is the key to success.
Brightside isn’t for everyone, but it has helped many people struggling with anxiety and depression.