Brightside Health Review: Is This Depression & Anxiety Care Useful?

Brightside is an online mental healthcare company that provides treatment services for a range of issues related to anxiety and depression. These conditions include major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, insomnia, panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and many more.

By: Chris Riley

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Angel Rivera

Last Updated: June 8th, 2021

 

Brightside is an online mental healthcare company that provides treatment services for a range of issues related to anxiety and depression. These conditions include major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, insomnia, panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and many more.

If you suffer from any of these mental health problems, you may want to consider Brightside. In terms of treatment, they offer tons of options for both therapy and medication (either separately or together). Better yet, when you use Brightside, you never have to leave your house—appointments are conducted virtually, and medication can be delivered straight to your door. This is what makes the service unique.

Here’s a quick overview on how it works.

First, you complete a short questionnaire, answering questions about your symptoms and medical history. From there, a Brightside doctor will recommend a treatment plan. Next, you’ll meet with your medical provider virtually to continue discussing your current condition. If they prescribe medication for you, it’ll be delivered right to your doorstep.

After that initial meeting, you will continue to follow the treatment plan provided by your doctor. As treatment continues, you’ll be able to message your doctor and meet with them via video calls to check in and discuss your progress. That’s about it—we found the whole process super easy, which it should be when it comes to getting care. 

Seeking treatment for mental health issues is challenging for a whole variety of reasons, but services like Brightside aim to make the process easier, more comfortable, and more convenient. 

So, the question remains, does Brightside accomplish that goal? Should you give it a try?

In this review, we take an in-depth look at this telehealth company. We discuss everything from their services to their pricing to their shipping timeline. Ultimately, this article should help you decide whether you’d like to sign up for Brightside.

Brightside Health Offers

Brightside: A General Overview

Before we begin dissecting all the details of Brightside, we want to provide a general overview of this company. This will give you a basic understanding of all the upsides and downsides of Brightside.

Firstly, take a look at the pros:

  • Brightside offers convenient, streamlined treatment for an array of mental health issues.
  • They offer a huge variety of medications—more so than their competitors.
  • The cost of Brightside is fair and competitive.
  • Most people find that Brightside treatment is highly effective.
  • The company has a great customer service team.
  • The cost of shipping for medication is included in your monthly payment.

Of course, you should also consider some of their most prominent cons:

  • Brightside does not accept insurance. So, although their pricing is average compared to competitors, it is still quite expensive for some people.
  • Brightside is only available in certain states.
  • Some customers wish that their virtual appointments were more frequent.

Now, let’s delve into each of these pros and cons.

Convenience and Ease of Use

Often, getting treatment for mental health issues seems like an insurmountable goal, especially when you’re dealing with some form of depression or anxiety. Part of what makes it so difficult is all of the pre-planning involved—you have to find a doctor or therapist, schedule an appointment, drive to that appointment, and spend hours away from your regular life. Not to mention the fact that getting weekly in-person therapy takes tons of time and travel. 

Telehealth services like Brightside aim to improve that general process. So, how does Brightside fare when it comes to providing convenient, effective care?

All things considered, we’ve found that Brightside is incredibly streamlined and easy to use. The questionnaire is short and to-the-point. We love that you don’t have to leave the house or even pick up the phone to get started—all you need to do is complete a quick survey. This eliminates so many potential hurdles that might stop someone from seeking out treatment.

Then, within 48 hours, you can meet with a doctor for the first time (virtually, of course). With traditional providers, you might have to wait weeks to get a consultation appointment, let alone begin treatment. That is why the immediacy of Brightside is one of its biggest assets.

Better yet, if you decide to move forward with treatment, all appointments and check-ins remain virtual. It’s so nice to be able to take those video calls from the comfort of home, without wasting any of your personal time traveling to a doctor’s office. 

In our opinion, the outright convenience and ease of use of Brightside is one of the most compelling reasons to sign up for this service.

Cost and Affordability

Apart from the convenience factor, affordability is one of the main draws to telehealth. Lots of telehealth providers offer medication and other services at a much lower cost than traditional providers. So, does Brightside fit that description? Let’s look into it.

Here’s the basic rundown:

  • According to the Brightside site, their medication plan costs $95 per month, plus the additional pharmacy copay (if you have insurance) or, alternatively, $15 per medication. The $95 plan includes benefits like support and monitoring from a professional and monthly delivery straight to your home. 
  • Their therapy plan costs $249 per month, which includes unlimited messaging and one video-chat session per month. Each additional session costs $59.
  • Finally, when you combine both therapy and medication, you’ll only pay $299. This plan lets you save $45.

These numbers may seem high, but we should compare them to Brightside’s competitors to get a better understanding of the overall cost. So, let’s take a look at Cerebral, another telehealth company with very similar services. 

Cerebral offers a medication plan for $85 per month, and their therapy plan costs $259 per month. Likewise, their combined therapy and medication option runs for $325 a month.

As you can see, Brightside charges an average price for this type of service. Although the prices vary slightly, both Brightside and Cerebral charge around the same price for the same services (although Brightside’s combo plan is a better deal). 

So, to us, this suggests the cost of Brightside is totally fair. Plus, you’ll certainly pay less than you would with a traditional, in-person provider.

Unfortunately, Brightside does not currently accept insurance. In our opinion, this is one of the biggest downsides of the service. You will have to pay these monthly costs out of pocket, which can be very difficult for many people.

However, in general, we think that all of the useful services and added benefits of Brightside are completely worth the cost. If you can afford to pay for Brightside each month, you will certainly get your money’s worth.

Brightside Health Reviews

Trustworthiness

Moving on from these ever-important considerations, let’s delve into another subject that’s of equal significance—trustworthiness. 

What’s the deal with telemedicine, anyway? How can you get a prescription without ever visiting a doctor in person? At first glance, it seems like a suspicious operation. However, we’re here to say that you can certainly trust Brightside—there’s nothing to worry about. 

First things first, the company is led by licensed physicians. According to the Brightside website, they only hire capable, board-certified psychiatrists, physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. Likewise, all of their therapists are licensed in evidence-based therapy, with graduate degrees from accredited institutions. So, in other words, you know you’re in good hands.

However, beyond these certifications, you may be skeptical about the process as a whole. Before signing up for a service like Brightside, you want to know you can trust the process to actually achieve results. 

Well, in our experience, Brightside is very effective for most people. If you don’t believe us, just take a look at a few of these real reviews we’ve gathered about Brightside:

“I am so happy I found this option!! I was feeling so hopeless and lost and didn’t know where to start or what to do and decided to give it a chance and I’m so so glad that I did because it has done wonders!!!”

— Sylvia T., 5/5 stars on reviews.io

“The program has been exceedingly helpful and really let me feel in control of my anxiety instead of overwhelmed by it. It's work, you have to stick with it, but it's work that is more than worth it. You can do it!”

— Bryan R., 5/5 stars on reviews.io

“Super helpful and easy, it really helped me in my time of need!!”

— Kathleen F., 5/5 stars on reviews.io

These are just a few examples of the hundreds of positive reviews of Brightside. On reviews.io, the company has received 1,231 reviews, and 88% of those reviews would recommend Brightside. Overall, they currently have a rating of 4.52 out of 5 stars. With so many complimentary reviews, it’s safe to say that Brightside is very effective for most people. 

Medication Selection

There is another reason that Brightside stands out among its competitors—they offer a huge, varied selection of medications. Moreover, their list of available medications is far bigger than similar brands. Of course, all of their medications are FDA-approved. 

Brightside does not prescribe controlled substances, like benzodiazepines or stimulants. However, that being said, Brightside still has way more options than most telehealth brands. This means that every customer is able to receive medication that fits their unique condition. In this way, Brightside offers treatment that is truly personalized. 

A list of medications can be found here Brightside Medications. Here are a few of the medications listed here as well. 

In our opinion, this is one of the major reasons that Brightside is so effective for so many people.

Shipping

Now, let’s move onto a logistical matter: shipping. Having your medication delivered each month can be a huge time-saver, and this is one of the major appeals of Brightside. But, of course, you have to consider shipping—particularly, the cost, timeline, and reliability of shipping each month

First things first, we should note that shipping is free (well, it’s included in your monthly fee, so only kind of “free”). It’s certainly a positive that there is no extra cost for this service.

According to Brightside’s website, after your initial consultation with a doctor, you will receive your medication within five to seven business days. However, they also note that there may be some delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic—so, it could take anywhere from seven to ten business days.

After that initial shipment, your medications will be delivered on a regular schedule each month. In this regard, shipping tends to be very consistent and reliable. So, all in all, there’s really nothing to worry about when it comes to shipping.

Customer Service

Finally, let’s talk about one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a healthcare provider—that is, customer service.

All in all, Brightside has a very responsive customer service team. They always have someone available to answer questions about anything and everything. If you have an issue with things like billing, medication delivery, or scheduling an appointment, it’s very easy to get in touch with someone and get those issues sorted out.

For the most part, the same goes for the service provided by their doctors and therapists—they tend to be professional, responsive, and knowledgeable.

Notably, many users find that they communicate with their doctors through the messaging system more frequently than they do through virtual meetings.

For example, one user on Reddit left the following review:

“Been taking the meds for awhile. They seem to be legit. The doc I've spoken verbally with once, but mostly we communicate via the messaging service on brightside.”

—LastLeigh, Reddit

On the one hand, the accessibility and convenience of the messaging system can be a huge benefit. It’s easy to stay in touch with your doctor and receive advice and guidance at any time — having that kind of 24/7 customer service is vital for some people.

However, for others, this method is not quite so effective. Some customers have complained that they wish they could have more frequent one-on-one video calls with their doctor. In these cases, it’s clear that a more traditional healthcare model may be a better fit. 

So, if you think you would prefer frequent video calls as opposed to instant-messaging, you may want to consider a different treatment service.

Brightside Health Pros and Cons

Brightside: Our Conclusion

There’s no denying that Brightside is one of the best telepsychiatry providers out there. For most people, treatment from Brightside is convenient and effective. They offer a wide variety of legitimate medications, delivered to your doorstep at no extra cost. On top of that, they provide evidence-based therapy and dependable, one-on-one treatment. 

If you can get past the few downsides we mentioned, we think that Brightside is totally worth your money and time!

Sources:

Online depression, anxiety, insomnia treatment and medication delivered to you | Cerebral

Brightside Reviews | reviews.io

Has anyone tried Brightside? | Reddit

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