Brightside Mental Health Therapy Review
Products & Services4/5
Ease of Use4/5
Customer Support & Reviews4/5
- Free assessment
- Video appointments
- Psychiatrists, doctors, or psychiatric nurse practitioners available
- Numerous medication options for prescription
- Does not prescribe controlled substances
- Multiple plan options available
Brightside is an online mental health therapy platform that offers virtual treatment to anyone 18 years or older. It specializes in treating anxiety, depression, and other specific disorders. It’s available nationwide and has multiple plan options for its members.
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Services Offered by Brightside
Brightside is an online mental health platform that specializes in treating anxiety, bipolar II, depression, insomnia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorders, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), phobias, postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and social anxiety.
You can take a free assessment on Brightside’s website, and the company will use an algorithm to evaluatemmore than 100 data points about you. From there, it will match you up with a therapist and tailor treatment for your particular need. The match and appointment usually happen within 48 hours of signing up.
If you are struggling with depression, once you take the online assessment, you’ll be connected to a psychiatrist for a video consultation. The consultation usually lasts around 15 minutes and ends with a plan for the best next steps for you. You’ll be asked to follow your care plan, and if medicine is needed, it will be delivered to your home within a week of your consultation. You’ll have a weekly session with your psychiatrist to check-in and see if you’re following your care plan.
For other disorders, you’ll be connected with a licensed therapist with whom you can message as much as you need and have a 30-minute video appointment each week. Brightside also offers audio lessons and practice exercises you can do independently to help you build the coping skills and habits you need.
Read our review of the Best Online Therapy Companies for 2023Read More
What About Brightside’s Privacy?
What Medications are Prescribed by Brightside?
Brightside employs psychiatric providers (psychiatrists, doctors, or psychiatric nurse practitioners) who are able to prescribe medication, should you need it. The following list contains many of the medications Brightside commonly prescribes:
Providers use a tool called Brightfinder to help determine the best medication for your particular situation. Brightfinder uses your data points, decades of research, and prescription options to pinpoint the FDA-approved medicine that’s right for you. The prescription is delivered to your door. Brightside does not prescribe controlled substances, and its therapists do not treat ADHD and will not prescribe medication for it.
We are testing the Brightside Medication Only Plan. This for those who don’t need or want a lot of therapy and are primarily focused on medication treatment. There are online check-ins every other week, and face-to-face video calls with your therapist once a month. At any time, you can request a video call with your therapist if you feel you need to. These calls are scheduled for 15 minutes. The Brightside therapist has been responsive to our needs, adjusted medication, and given guidance. Overall our experience has been satisfactory.
Brightside Customer Reviews
Brightside has publicly released its findings on how successful the platform is. It says most of the patients that join Brightside have moderate to severe mental health challenges. Of those, Brightside claims 86% of them experience ‘clinically significant improvement’ within the first 12 weeks of treatment, and 71% reach remission. A study in the Journal of Medical Science says the care model Brightside uses is 50% more effective in patient response and remission than traditional care used by top-ranked health systems.
You will find many positive reviews online from people who have used the service. They compliment how effective the therapy has been for them. Others feel when dealing with issues like depression and anxiety, texting and video chatting aren’t as personal as they need to be to help improve mental health. The company is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an F rating with the consumer organization. You will find around 30 complaints that center around billing and insurance issues, as well as concerns and complaints about specific psychiatrist providers. You will also find all the reviews on Trustpilot are negative, as well.
Brightside has three different membership plans to choose from:
Medication Only Plan
The medication-only plan gives you access to a comprehensive evaluation conducted by a psychiatric provider remotely. Your prescribed medication will be delivered to your door, and you’ll have ongoing monitoring and support from your provider. The plan costs $95 a month, plus your pharmacy co-pay if you have prescription coverage through your insurance. If you don’t have coverage, medication is $15 per prescription.
Therapy Only Plan
The therapy-only plan gives you access to a licensed therapist. You’ll have unlimited messaging and four video sessions every month. Your therapist will work with you to create a personalized program to help you manage your mental health. The therapy plan costs $299 a month. You can buy additional video appointments with your therapist for $59 each.
Medication + Therapy
The medication + therapy plan combines both the above plans for one comprehensive treatment option. It costs $349 a month plus your pharmacy co-pay. If you don’t have insurance coverage, your prescriptions will be $15 each.
Brightside accepts insurance, so check with your provider to see if coverage is available. At the end of the free assessment, there’s a way to see if Brightside accepts your insurance.
Brightside Company Background
Brightside is relatively new to the online mental health industry. Brad Kittredge founded it in San Francisco in 2017. Kittredge watched his dad battle depression and his doctors struggle to find the right treatment plan. The experience led him to launch Brightside as a way to help individuals and families who endure the same struggles. His two other co-founders had their own passion for mental health help since they both had lost family members to suicide.
The Bottom Line on Brightside
For those who need help with depression, anxiety, and other specific disorders, Brightside is a good online mental health option. It has multiple plan choices that can include medication if therapy alone doesn’t work for your particular situation.
Content on this site is for reference and information purposes only. Do not rely solely on this content, as it is not a substitute for advice from a licensed healthcare professional. Aging.com assumes no liability for inaccuracies. Consult with your doctor before beginning any medications or programs.