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Brightside Health Reviews 2022: Pros, Cons, Plans & Pricing

mitchelle-Morgan

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Medically reviewed by Dr G. Michael DiLeo, MD

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Brightside reviews

9.0

Quality

9.0

Brand’s Transparency

8.5

Value

Features

  • Has multiple plans
  • Certified providers
  • Offers online therapy sessions and prescription medications
  • It is one of the best telepsychiatric brands in the industry.
  • Prescription medication is delivered to members at their doorsteps.
  • Members have unlimited messaging with their providers
  • Excellent customer service.

Brand Information

  • Top telepsychiatry company in the US
  • Offers free and paid plans
  • Uses cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Offers therapy and medication for anxiety/depression

Medical Benefits

  • Combines approaches to treat members
  • Healthcare services from licensed providers
  • Customized therapy and medication prescriptions
  • Accepts insurance
  • HIPAA compliant
  • Relatively affordable subscription plans

About Brightside

Brightside Health is an online medication and therapy company for individuals with mental health issues, especially those associated with anxiety and depression. Brightside’s therapy and medication management program is designed for adult patients. It uses CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)[1] to address its patients’ anxiety and depression. CBT is a talking therapy that guides changes in the way you think and behave.

According to a research study[2] done in 2014, CBT can be an effective way to treat patients with depression[3] and anxiety issues.

It is important to note that the company’s healthcare providers do not treat or provide any counsel to individuals with self-harm or suicidal tendencies, eating disorders, and problems stemming from substance abuse. They do not treat people with mental health emergency issues or psychiatric conditions like psychosis, borderline personality disorders, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Although the doctors online prescribe medications when appropriate, they don’t prescribe controlled substances such as Xanax and Valium.

Brightside Health uses a comprehensive and multi-approach to treat patients, which according to the company, has led to around 85% of its patients feeling better in 12 weeks. The company provides online therapy and medication to members from all 50 states in the US. It’s a great support to the US healthcare system.

What Online Therapies Does Brightside Offer?

Brightside uses three primary therapy approaches in their online services; these are

  • Self-care Package: This program is free of charge for all members of the Brightside Health platform. It is aimed at helping members build resilience in addition to complementing the medication and therapy options offered by the platform. A free self-care program is designed to offer the skills and habits to tackle anxiety and depression symptoms.
  • Online Therapy Sessions: This is a paid program where members of Brightside can schedule weekly private video therapy sessions with the doctors on the platform. It also offers unlimited messaging between the providers and the member. This is a therapy-only plan.
  • Medication: The psychiatric healthcare providers on the platform perform a comprehensive evaluation of members, diagnose them, and prescribe treatment plans that are specifically customized for each member. However, not all members of Brightside are given prescriptions.

Brightside Review: Therapy Program

This is an evidence-based therapy program where Brightside members have four video sessions monthly with a Brightside doctor on the platform. In addition, they receive interactive classes through the self-care program and unlimited messaging with Brightside care team providers.

With each Bridghtside online therapy subscription, the member will receive a single 30-minute video therapy session for a few weeks with a professionally licensed therapist. However, the initial consultation (online therapy) session is usually 15 minutes long. 

While these sessions are helpful to members, they are a bit shorter than the traditional therapy session which typically lasts 50-60 minutes. Members who want additional online video therapy sessions can purchase each for $59.

In addition, members are guided through the self-care program by Brightside therapists. They get personalized audio lessons and exercises that are self-paced. These exercises and classes are designed to help the members develop habits and skills that can aid them in improving depression and anxiety symptoms. Brightside members can give feedback to help the therapist determine what is effective for each of them.

Brightside Review: Medication Prescription

Anyone opting for the medication plan from the Brightside site will get a comprehensive video consultation with a psychiatrist via the platform. In most cases, this video consultation will last for about 15 minutes. The medical doctor will review and assess the members’ situation, answer their questions, address any concerns, and discuss a customized care plan.

If the psychiatrist thinks the member’s condition warrants any medications at the end of the video consultation session, they will prescribe them. The medication will then be delivered to the member’s door. Typically, the psychiatrists on the platform give monthly prescriptions and will authorize monthly refills for medication delivered.

Members must check in with their psychiatrist weekly to update them about any side effects or symptoms. This allows Brightside providers on the platform to monitor members’ progress and adjust the personalized treatment plan whenever required.

The Brightside medication plan also includes access to the platform’s self-care program.

Brightside Review: Therapy and Medication Plan

This is the combo plan that includes both the therapy and medication plans. Members enjoy all the benefits from both subscriptions together with the self-care program. 

You first have to fill out a questionnaire about your medical history and symptoms. 

Feature Product

Brightside Health

Best Reputation

Brightside

  • Has multiple plans
  • Certified providers
  • Offers online therapy sessions and prescription medications
  • It is one of the best telepsychiatric brands in the industry.
  • Prescription medication is delivered to members at their doorsteps.
  • Members have unlimited messaging with their providers
  • Excellent customer service.

Who Should Use Brightside?

The platform is designed to provide treatments and therapy for adults. It is a good option for individuals looking for the flexibility of treatment offered by online sessions to deal with their anxiety or depression symptoms.

It is also an option for people seeking treatment (short-term therapy) to help them develop habits and skills to handle challenging emotions or issues that tend to trigger their depression or anxiety symptoms. The platform offers therapy and medication for the following conditions:

  • Insomnia
  • General anxiety disorder[4]
  • Bipolar 2
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder)
  • Phobia
  • Postpartum depression
  • PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder)
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • SAD (seasonal affective disorder)

It is important to note that because Brightside is an online therapy platform geared explicitly towards anxiety and depression, it may not be for everyone. According to the platform, some of the conditions for which it does not provide therapy and medication include the following:

  • Suicidal tendencies
  • People that have been involuntarily hospitalized due to psychiatric reasons
  • Self-harm behavior
  • Other forms of bipolar disorder apart from bipolar 2
  • People expressing mania symptoms
  • Schizophrenia
  • People with psychosis symptoms
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • People with mental health issues stemming from substance abuse
  • Eating disorders characterized by high-risk symptoms

For a complete list of conditions the professionals on the platform can and can not treat, you should visit the Brightside website. Suppose you do not see your condition on either list. In that case, you should contact the platform’s in-person provider to know if they can provide both therapy and medication for your specific conditions.

Brightside Plans And Pricing

Below is a pricing breakdown of the plans offered by Brightside:

The Therapy Plan

Members subscribing to this plan get four 30-minute online video therapy sessions each month. The session is with a licensed professional. Members also have unlimited messaging that connects to a counselor immediately; the plan includes the free self-care program.

Members pay $249 for the first month’s subscription and $299 monthly for subsequent subscriptions. Members have an option for additional sessions that cost $59 per session.

The Medication Plan

Members subscribing to this plan get the free self-care program. The pricing for the plan is $95 per month. Additionally, members must pay a copayment for their subscription if their insurance covers their treatment with Brightside. 

When you sign up with Brightside, a psychiatric provider will be assigned to conduct your assessment. The provider can be a psychiatric nurse practitioner or a doctor. The provider will carry out a short consultation (15 mins). This free consultation is only available to members subscribing to this plan, and not others.

Once the consultation is complete, the provider will determine whether or not you need any medication. If you do, they will prescribe medication to you. Besides providers, Brightside also uses Brightfinder (a scientific algorithm) to help match its members to the proper medication for their symptoms. The medicine is delivered through the mail to your door.

The providers on the platform can be reached through text and have 72 hours to answer back. However, most of them do not take that long; the average response time is a couple of hours. Your Path™ is the tool used to monitor the progress of all members subscribing to all paid plans from Brightside.

The Combo Plan – Therapy Plus Medication

Members subscribing to this plan get all the benefits of therapy and medication plans. Additionally, this combo plan is cheaper than subscribing to the other two plans separately. The monthly cost for the plan is $349.

NOTE: Some insurance companies cover treatment and therapy costs from Brightside. Examples include some plans from Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Cigna, among others.

Pros

  • The platform is not only designed to be simple but provides members convenience and noticeable results.
  • Medication is only prescribed to members who need it.
  • They are reasonably priced compared to other platforms.
  • The providers on the platform are certified psychiatrists and therapists, which means members have access to quality healthcare services.
  • Use of a comprehensive approach combining self-care tools, therapy, and medication.
  • Accepts insurance.
  • Free assessment upon registration to aid with evaluation, diagnosis, and prescriptions for members’ conditions.
  • Prescriptions are delivered to the members’ doorstep.

Cons

  • Does not have the same feeling as in-person therapy.
  • Not all insurance companies cover treatment costs with Brightside
  • Not for everyone

What Do We Like About Brightside? 

Below are some of the things we liked about Brightside:

  • The platform uses an evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy[5] approach that has been clinically proven effective and delivers results to its members.
  • The free self-care program offers self-paced lessons and training exercises to help members build their resilience. It also helps them establish habits and skills to deal with anxiety and depression[6] symptoms.
  • The therapists and psychiatrists on the platform are compassionate and easy to communicate with; they have great insights that can help members improve their symptoms immediately.
  • Despite the sessions being slightly shorter than conventional ones, the qualified psychiatrist and therapists on the platform provide excellent services. They are dedicated to spending every second of the session helping members.
  • Different plans mean that members only have to pay for the benefits they want.
  • They have an excellent privacy policy that utilizes encrypted servers and is HIPAA compliant.

Alternatives To Brightside

Betterhelp

BetterHelp

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10% Off First Month: HEALTHCANAL

  • Can use text, phone, chats, and video.
  • Certified providers 3+ years.
  • Financial assistance for members that qualify.
  • Easy to change your therapist.
  • Not covered by insurance.
  • Only offers online therapy sessions and no medication prescriptions.
calmerry

Calmerry

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  • Several plans are available.
  • Available to members from all 50 states.
  • Therapists matched to members stuff.
  • Multiple ways to communicate
  • Pricing is not readily available.
  • Relatively short therapy sessions.
Talkspace

Talkspace

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  • Availability of couples therapy.
  • Flexible plans to cater to different members.
  • Covered by some insurance companies.
  • Not for every person.
  • No financial assistance for members that might need it.

Brightside Review: What Real Users Say

Brightside appears to have built a name for itself as one of the best telepsychiatry companies.  To further get an impression of the company, let us look at some Brightside health reviews and feedback from users:

“Brightside employs the highest quality therapists and fits with my life! The self paced lessons are a wonderful bonus and are top quality. After years of failed therapy attempts, Brightside is helping me finally feel in control of my anxiety!”

Danielle B

“Brightside has allowed to keep in contact with my provider making it painless to see a provider and obtain medications.”

Kiara O

“Counselor always cancelled and changed within a month. No option for a refund and poor customer service.”

David W

Generally, most of the users of the platforms have positive things to say about the platform. However, a few users were not satisfied with the therapy sessions offered by providers on the platform.

Final Thoughts

Online therapy sessions can be a good option for those seeking help for depression and anxiety. Brightside has gone even further by adding the option for medication and online video therapy sessions.

Since the providers on the platform are licensed and certified professionals with experience, members are guaranteed excellent healthcare services that are personalized for their needs. A large number of positive Brightside therapy reviews are a testament to the quality of services the brand offers its users.

Frequently Asked Questions

Brightside is intended for whom?

The platform is intended to offer counseling and medications to adults. It is an excellent choice for anyone searching for the therapeutic flexibility provided by online sessions to address anxiety or depression issues. It is also a choice for those wanting brief counseling to assist them in creating routines and learning how to manage any difficult emotions or problems that tend to set off their symptoms of depression or anxiety.

What treatments are available?

Online video therapy sessions and prescribed medication.

Is Brightside private?

Yes. The therapist and psychiatrist on the platform are licensed and have experience dealing with symptoms and conditions stemming from anxiety and depression. The fact that some insurance companies cover treatment from the platform speaks to its legitimacy and trustworthiness.

Does Brightside accept insurance?

Yes. Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cigna are a few examples.

What subscription plans does Brightside offer?

There is a therapy plan that only covers online video sessions with a licensed provider. This plan costs $249 for the first month and $299 monthly for ongoing subscriptions. The other is a medication plan, where members are given prescriptions for their conditions. The medication is delivered to the member at their home or mailing address. This plan costs $95 per month in addition to copayment for drugs for those with insurance. Those without insurance must pay an additional $15 per medication on top of the subscription cost. Members can combine these two plans for a monthly subscription cost of $349

Is this Depression & Anxiety Care useful?

Yes. The program is self-paced so that members can follow the lessons and exercises at their own pace. It is designed to help members develop skills and habits that will help them to build resilience. Additionally, these skills and practices will go a long way toward helping them cope with situations and emotions that might trigger their depression and anxiety symptoms.

What Brightside treatment plan is good for me?

The choice of which plan to subscribe to depends on your condition and needs. For example, if you would like only an online therapy session, then the therapy plan would be best. On the other hand, the medication plan is excellent for individuals looking for prescriptions for their conditions. You should select the combo therapy and medication plan if you need both online therapy sessions and medication.


+ 6 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. NHS Choices (2022). Overview – Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). [online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/talking-therapies-medicine-treatments/talking-therapies-and-counselling/cognitive-behavioural-therapy-cbt/overview/
  2. Wagner, B., Horn, A.B. and Maercker, A. (2014). Internet-based versus face-to-face cognitive-behavioral intervention for depression: A randomized controlled non-inferiority trial. Journal of Affective Disorders, [online] 152-154, pp.113–121. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2013.06.032.
  3. Chand, S.P. and Arif, H. (2022). Depression. [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430847/
  4. Munir, S. and Takov, V. (2022). Generalized Anxiety Disorder. [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441870/
  5. Hofmann, S.G., Asnaani, A., Vonk, I.J.J., Sawyer, A.T. and Fang, A. (2012). The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta-analyses. Cognitive Therapy and Research, [online] 36(5), pp.427–440. doi:10.1007/s10608-012-9476-1.
  6. Tiller, J.W.G. (2013). Depression and anxiety. Medical Journal of Australia, [online] 199(S6). doi:10.5694/mja12.10628.
mitchelle-Morgan

Medically reviewed by:

G. Michael DiLeo

Mitchelle Morgan is a health and wellness writer with over 10 years of experience. She holds a Master's in Communication. Her mission is to provide readers with information that helps them live a better lifestyle. All her work is backed by scientific evidence to ensure readers get valuable and actionable content.

Medically reviewed by:

G. Michael DiLeo

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