Here are some of the questions we hear most often. If you’re a Brightside member and need assistance, please log into your account and navigate to Help to contact our team.
How It Works
Brightside Medication and Therapy plans are currently available in all states!
Brightside is available to people 18 years and older in all 50 US states who believe they may be experiencing depression (including MDD, PPD, PMDD), Bipolar II, anxiety, phobias, OCD, panic disorders, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and/or insomnia and think they would benefit from treatment.
Remote care is not a good fit for people with certain conditions or situations. These include (but are not limited to):
Our providers do not treat, and do not prescribe for adhd.
If any of these describe you, it’s best for you to be seen in person by a Primary Care Provider who can help you find the treatment that’s right for you.
We believe (and evidence shows) that comprehensive care using multiple approaches leads to the best outcomes with depression.
There are three primary treatment approaches for mental health conditions: therapy, psychiatry (including medication management), and self-care. We offer each of these approaches as part of our comprehensive care plans.
Brightside offers convenient, affordable, and private therapy via weekly video sessions, unlimited messaging, and optional à la carte video sessions with a licensed therapist as you complete evidence-based audio sessions that equip you with the skills you need to feel better.
Brightside psychiatric providers can complete a comprehensive evaluation, diagnosis, and personalized treatment plan, which may include psychiatric medication (SSRIs, SNRIs, and similar). Your provider will monitor your care, providing guidance and adjusting treatment as necessary so you get the best outcomes.
There’s no guarantee that our providers will write you a prescription. After evaluating your information, they only prescribe if they are confident that a medication will be safe, effective, and appropriate for you.
Brightside psychiatric providers do not prescribe any controlled substances.
All Brightside members have access to our free Self-Care program. The Brightside Self-Care program can help build skills and resilience, delivering improvements that complement therapy and medication.
Brightside makes it easy to get top quality depression care from the privacy of home.
Here’s how Medication works:
Here’s how Therapy works:
Brightside’s provider network includes psychiatrists, physicians, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and therapists who are graduates of prominent US medical schools, have several years of experience, and have current licenses to practice in your state. They follow the same high clinical standards as in person care, ranging from psychiatrists, providers, and licensed therapists.
Brightside’s clinical advisory board consists of industry experts from top institutions like Stanford, UCSF, and Yale and oversees our clinical policies and operations.
If you are a licensed provider interested in joining the Brightside provider network, please send your CV to: [email protected] and visit our careers page for openings.
Depression and anxiety are diagnosed by comparing the symptoms that someone is experiencing to known attributes of these conditions, using criteria established by the American Psychiatric Association. There are no physical symptoms or blood tests that need to be checked that indicate the presence of depression – instead, diagnosis and treatment relies on a psychiatric provider’s judgment.
Because of this, you don’t necessarily need to be together in person with a provider to effectively diagnose and treat depression and anxiety. Providers can review your symptoms, health history, and other considerations remotely, then verify their diagnosis and discuss treatment options in a conversation with you.
Delivering care online can offer the opportunity for closer monitoring and communication of treatment and progress over time. This is particularly relevant for antidepressant medication, as it’s common for your provider to need to refine your dose and medication based on your individual response.
Remote care isn’t a good fit for everyone. If you would like a physical exam or blood test prior to treatment or are more comfortable seeing a provider face to face, you should follow that path. People with certain conditions are not a good fit for remote care for depression: Certain psychiatric diagnoses; or if you have liver disease, kidney disease, seizures, or long QT syndrome, it’s better for you to see a provider in person to manage your care.
Brightside Medication Plan costs $95 per month. Your plan includes a comprehensive remote psychiatric provider evaluation and ongoing provider support and monitoring of your care, including any necessary adjustments.
Therapy costs $299 per month for unlimited messaging and four included monthly video sessions with a licensed therapist who helps guide you through a personalized program using evidence-based approaches. You can purchase additional video appointments with your therapist if you choose for $59 per session.
Medication + Therapy
Combining both plans costs $349 per month ($45 off). In addition to the benefits of the Medication Plan, you get unlimited messaging and a weekly video session with a licensed therapist who helps guide you through a personalized program using evidence-based approaches.
Your insurance may cover all or some of your care depending on your plan. With Cigna, all of your care will be covered, including consultations, unlimited messaging, treatment monitoring and prescription management. If your insurance is with one of our other partners, you may be responsible for a small member fee, which ensures you receive comprehensive care beyond what your insurance pays for. If you sign up for services, we’ll provide details about any cost share responsibilities that we’re able to look up on your behalf. We also recommend that you contact your health insurance plan to verify that your care at Brightside will be covered.
* Important note about prescription (Rx) benefits. If you decide to purchase a Medication plan subscription through Brightside, any prescription costs will depend on the pharmacy you decide to use. If you choose to have your prescriptions delivered, the cost will be $15 per fill or your co-pay if your prescription (Rx) benefits are accepted by the mail order pharmacy. Prescription benefit coverage information will not be available to you until your provider prescribes and sends your prescription to the mail order pharmacy. If you decide to pick up your prescription from your local pharmacy, Brightside does not cover these prescription expenses and the cost of your medication will depend on the local pharmacy that you use. GoodRx coupons may be available to use at your local pharmacy to help with any out of pocket expenses if you do not have insurance.
Anxiety and depression are complicated. In order to make sure that you are on the right treatment for you and making progress, we will ask you to do periodic check-ins with us to tell us how you’re doing.
You can use this information to track your progress over time. We’ll also use your responses to help your doctor monitor your care and make any necessary adjustments so you get the best outcome.
Depression is a sensitive topic – we follow industry best practices to keep your information private. We encrypt all data using 256 bit SSL security and are HIPAA compliant. Only your prescribing provider will have access to your information.
*If we ever have reason to believe you intend to hurt yourself or others, we may need to share information in line with established safety protocols.
Your safety is so important to us. If you are in emotional distress or thinking about hurting yourself at any point, please make use of these resources:
1. Visit: If you are having a medical or mental health emergency, call 911 or go to your local emergency department
2. Text: The Crisis Text Line provides 24 hour free and confidential help. Text ‘HOME’ to 741-741 to connect with a counselor immediately
3. Call: You can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK to talk with a live counselor 24 hours per day
There is always help available. We recommend also reaching out to a family member or friend to let them know that you are having these thoughts and ask for help and support.
Depression & Treatments
Your Brightside Psychiatric Provider will select the most appropriate treatment for you based on your specific needs.
Listed here are many, but not all, of the medications our doctors commonly prescribe. Brightside offers effective treatment with nonaddictive medications like SSRIs and SNRIs. We do not prescribe controlled substances like Xanax, Klonopin, or Ativan.
If you would like to inquire about a medication you don’t see here, message us at [email protected].
YES! Depression is highly treatable and it is estimated that 80% of people who engage in treatment get better.
Maybe you feel like now’s not the right time to start treatment. While it’s tempting to put it off, it’s important not to wait. Delaying treatment will only make it harder to have a good outcome down the line and can lead to physical changes to your brain and even an increased risk of heart disease. In most cases, depression won’t fade away on its own and the longer you wait, the harder it is to get better.
Comprehensive approaches to care, which combine multiple treatment approaches like self care, therapy, and medication, often have the best outcomes because they can help address multiple underlying causes and symptoms of depression.
Studies have shown that antidepressants are effective at relieving symptoms of depression about 40-60% of the time [source].
New approaches suggest that using data may help target the right treatments to the right patients based on symptom clusters and personal characteristics, delivering better outcomes.
Research shows that certain nutritional supplements, when taking together with antidepressants, can also enhance the effect of antidepressants.
Adding additional treatments, such as therapy and lifestyle improvement, to medication as part of a comprehensive care plan commonly leads to the best outcomes.
To get the best results with medication, it’s important to consistently measure progress during treatment – this is known as Measurement Based Care. This allows you and your psychiatric provider to make informed decisions for any necessary adjustment in your treatment. It’s common to adjust dose and/or medication when starting antidepressants to minimize side effects and maximize benefit.
Antidepressants can have rare but serious side effects. It’s important to understand these risks before taking antidepressants and to contact your psychiatric provider immediately if you experience any of these serious side effects while taking antidepressants.
The FDA has issued a black box warning for SSRIs and similar medications. These medications may increase suicidal thoughts or behavior, particularly in people age 24 or younger. Watch out for worsening of mood, behavior, or suicidal thoughts, especially during the first few months of treatment. Seek help right away if you experience any of these changes. If you are ever in crisis, dial 911 or visit your nearest emergency department. You can also text ‘HOME’ to 741-741 to connect immediately with a free and confidential counselor.
Serotonin Syndrome is a rare but life threatening condition where there is too much serotonin active in the brain. Symptoms include fast heart rate, sweating, muscle stiffness or spasms, fever, and confusion. Do not take MAOIs, TCAs, St. John’s Wort, amphetamines, sumatriptan, or linezolid with SSRIs. See a doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms while taking your medication.
The risk of gastrointestinal bleeding may be increased when SSRIs are combined with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Common NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve), and celecoxib (Celebrex).
Depressive symptoms can occasionally be the first manifestation of the up and down cycle between depression and mania in bipolar disorder. If you experience symptoms of mania, such as feeling so good or so hyper that people think you are not acting your normal self, that you don’t need to sleep very much, or that thoughts race through your head and you can’t slow your mind down, you should talk to your doctor immediately.
SSRIs may be associated with increased risk of birth defects. If you are pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or breastfeeding, consult your doctor about weighing the risks and benefits of taking antidepressants.
Some antidepressants may impair your ability to perform tasks requiring judgment or motor and cognitive skills. Exercise caution and refrain from dangerous activities, especially when starting your medication.
Hyponatremia (low levels of sodium in the blood) may occur as a result of treatment. Symptoms include mental changes, headache, nausea and vomiting, muscle spasms, and seizures. See a doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms while taking your medication.
Taking SSRIs can cause mild pupillary dilation, which in susceptible individuals, can lead to an episode of angle closure glaucoma. Patients may wish to be examined to determine whether they are susceptible to angle closure, and have a prophylactic procedure (e.g., iridectomy), if they are susceptible.
Relatively common side effects of antidepressant medication include headache, nausea, insomnia, drowsiness, fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, weight gain, and issues with sexual arousal and performance. Often these side effects are temporary and/or can be effectively managed.
Psychotherapy provides a supportive environment that allows you to talk openly with someone who’s objective, neutral and nonjudgmental. Through education, introspection, and skill building, you can identify and modify the thought and behavior patterns that are keeping you from feeling your best.
Psychotherapy has shown to be effective at reducing symptoms of depression, but the true effect is difficult to quantify. [source] Most experts agree that the best results are likely in a multi-faceted approach that includes medication, therapy, and lifestyle change.
If you choose to do therapy as part of your treatment program, It’s important to find a therapist who uses evidence-based approaches and who you feel comfortable talking with.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a research-backed therapy approach that focuses on improving negative habits in the way we think and act that translate to how we feel. It can be a very successful treatment approach for many people and is available through talk therapy as well as through a self-paced app. CBT can be a stand-alone treatment or a complement to another treatment approach, such as antidepressant medication. Brightside’s Skill Kit is developed using the principles of CBT is available for free to every member.
Accounts & Billing
Brightside Health providers are not required to complete documentation related to workers’ compensation or disability claim statuses; however, if a member has a question or request for documentation of any kind to be completed, they can work with their provider directly, who will use their clinical judgment to determine if they are able to complete the documentation. Please note that providers have the right to deny this request and do not provide documentation for emotional support animals; long-term disability evaluations; permanent disability evaluations; worker’s compensation; or court-ordered evaluations.
Brightside members are responsible for sharing with their provider during the initial consultation if they need, or will need in the future, workers’ compensation or disability claim documentation completed. If you would like more information about this topic, we encourage you to view Brightside’s Telehealth Consent Policy.
Separately, Brightside Health is always able to provide members with their medical records. Please note this type of request may take several weeks to fulfill and most often requires a separate completed authorization form for release. Once the authorization is complete, we will process the request and either email or fax medical records wherever they need to go. Members can submit a request for medical records by logging into their Brightside account and navigating to Help to contact our Support team.
To request a refund, please log into your Brightside account and navigate to Help to contact our Support team.
We do not issue any refunds after your initial scheduled consultation with your psychiatric provider has passed as Brightside providers take time to review your information and begin preparing a treatment plan prior to your initial scheduled video consultation.
Your medication subscription fee is billed monthly on the same day each month and you can cancel your plan at any time from Settings in your account.
All therapy subscription payments are non-refundable. Your therapy subscription fee is billed monthly on the same day each month and you can cancel your plan at any time. If you purchased and canceled an extra video therapy session and would like a refund, please log into your Brightside account and navigate to Help to contact our Support team.
You can find treatment information, including your provider’s medication instructions, on your medication card in your Dashboard. If you are concerned that your treatment is off track, you can click on “Request a Review” on the medication card and your provider will follow up with you.
If you forgot your password, please go to the login page and select “Forgot your password?” This will email you a link to update your password.
If you’re logged into your account already, you can also reset your password within Settings. If you have any other issues, contact us via Help from within your account or email us at [email protected].
If you’d like to cancel your Medication subscription, login to your Brightside Portal and select “Settings” from the menu bar. From there you will want to select “Manage Plan” and then “Cancel My Medication Plan”.
Care for mental health conditions isn’t a quick fix, but treatment does work if you stick with it.
In the best case, your treatment should last 9-12 months and for many people it may take longer.
86% of Brightside members feel better within 12 weeks and many more achieve benefit over a longer period. It’s not uncommon to take some time to find the right treatment and get the full benefit.
It’s important to complete at least 6 months of maintenance even after you start to feel better. Skipping the maintenance phase more than doubles the likelihood that your depression will come back in the next 6 months.
Your provider recommends that you stick with your treatment until you decide together that you’re ready to be done. If you cancel your plan, your provider will not be able to authorize refills of your medication because they will be unable to track your treatment progress. Before cancelling, we recommend that you message your provider or request a review to plan the right path for you.
If you’d like to cancel your Therapy subscription, login to your Brightside Portal and select “Settings” from the menu bar. From there you will want to select “Manage Plan” and then “Cancel My Therapy Plan”.
Before you cancel, you might consider reaching out to your Brightside Therapist. Chances are they will be very open to hearing you out and adapting their approach to make treatment work for your needs and preferences. If you’ve already voiced your concerns to your therapist and are sure you want to cancel, it’s important to have a ‘termination’ chat before doing so. This is when you let your therapist know that you’ll be cancelling your therapy plan (don’t worry; your therapist won’t be offended.) That way, your therapist can help you form a plan to maintain gains you’ve made for therapy and find ways to connect with other resources.
Appointments & Scheduling
Step 1: Download the Zoom application on the device you plan to use for your video appointment.
Step 2: When you are ready to join the appointment, log in to your Brightside Portal and click “Join Appointment” on your Medication or Therapy card, depending on which member of your Care Team you are scheduled to meet. — this option will appear on the day of your consultation and will take you directly to your Brightside psychiatric provider or therapist’s consultation room. You also have the option to click on the “Join Appointment” link in the email or text message sent to you 30 minutes prior to the start of the consultation.
Step 3: Once you are in your provider or therapist’s Zoom room, you will want to make sure your video and microphone options are active and working on your device. These options can be found on the lower panel of the Zoom window.
To reschedule your appointment, login to your Brightside Portal. Using the “Reschedule” button and select a new time.
To help respect your psychiatric provider and therapist’s time as well as support appointment availability to other Brightside members seeking care, we ask that if you need to reschedule your appointment, you do so at least 24-hours in advance.
Please note: refunds will not be issued for failure to attend your appointment after it has started. We understand that things come up, so if you are not confident that you will be able to make your scheduled appointment, you can always reschedule in advance from your Brightside Portal.
Please note that failing to attend scheduled consultation after multiple attempts may result in a potential reassignment of your care or discharge from Brightside, as well as charging a no-show fee of $20.
In order to receive medication as part of your care plan, you need to complete a video visit with your psychiatric provider so that he or she can conduct a full evaluation. It’s also possible that your provider will want to talk to you from time to time during your treatment. If it would make you more comfortable, your provider is glad to turn their camera off during the conversation.
Your therapist benefits from seeing your body language and facial expressions when you connect. If it would make you more comfortable, your therapist is glad to turn their camera off during the conversation.
To connect with your provider for your initial video consultation:
Step 1: Download the Zoom application on the device you plan to use for your video appointment.
Step 2: When you are ready to join the appointment, log in to your Brightside Portal and click “Join Appointment” — this option will appear on the day of your consultation and will take you directly to your Brightside psychiatric provider’s consultation room. You also have the option to click on the “Join Appointment” link in the email or text message sent to you 30 minutes prior to the start of the consultation.
Step 3: Once you are in your provider’s Zoom room, you will want to make sure your video and microphone options are active and working on your device. These options can be found on the lower panel of the Zoom window.
To connect with your Brightside provider after your initial consultation, you can “Request a Review” from your Brightside Portal if you have clinical questions about your treatment. If your provider thinks a video appointment is needed based on the reason for your review, he/she may send you a request to book a video appointment with them.
You can also send your provider a message directly at any time. Messages should be used for quick updates or providing clarifying information about your treatment progress. Your provider will not be able to make adjustments to your treatment through messaging alone and will require a formal request for a review be completed. Brightside providers will typically respond to your message within 72 hours on weekdays. Providers do no monitor their inbox around the clock or on weekends. If you are experiencing a psychiatric emergency, please call or text 988 for immediate assistance.
You can message your Brightside therapist at any time. Your therapist will message you back within 24-48 hours on weekdays. You can also request an a la carte video conference with your therapist for $59 per session from your Brightside account.
If have an active subscription are having trouble getting a hold of your provider, please contact [email protected]
Your care is important to us. Brightside’s messaging tool is not intended to nor does it support emergency or urgent clinical situations.
If you are having an emergency, call 911 or visit your local emergency room.
If you are considering hurting yourself, you can connect with a counselor immediately by calling 1-800-273-8255 or texting HOME to 741741.
All Brightside providers adhere to the highest clinical standards, have several years of experience, and are licensed to practice in the member’s state of residence (see “Who are the providers” above). Members are matched with providers based on criteria including state licensure and schedule availability.
If for some reason you would like to change your provider, please log into your Brightside account and navigate to Help to contact our Support team to see if this option is available.
If you missed your appointment, your psychiatric provider or therapist will send you a new request to book with them over the next 24 hours. If for some reason you do not receive this request, please log into your Brightside account and navigate to Help to contact our Support team.
Brightside providers do their best to make your scheduled appointment time but sometimes appointments run over or technical issues can occur. We would encourage you to wait 5-10 minutes before closing out the Zoom application.
Brightside psychiatric providers and therapists do their best to make your scheduled appointment time but sometimes appointments run over or technical issues can occur. We would encourage you to wait 5-10 minutes before closing out the Zoom application.
We hope that this never happens, but if it does, please log into your Brightside account and navigate to Help to contact our Support team so that we can help resolve the issue and get you rescheduled right away.
No, you do not have to use insurance. We’ve made sure our care is affordable even without insurance, and paying for Brightside services directly with your credit card is always an option. We also accept HSA/FSA payment if you have one of those accounts.
We cover members in all 50 states. To confirm we have coverage in your area, you can check your eligibility during our sign–up process or contact us directly at [email protected].
At this time, we accept the below as in-network insurance carriers in select states only:
We’ve ensured our care is affordable even without insurance, and paying for Brightside services directly with your credit card is always an option. We also accept HSA/FSA payments if you have one of those accounts.
If you are a new member signing up for our services, you can enter your insurance information during the sign-up process where we will verify your insurance eligibility and your coverage details.
When using insurance, you’re only responsible for any copays, coinsurance, deductibles, or prescription costs associated with your plan—your insurance will cover the rest. This includes the clinical features of your Brightside membership including video consultations, unlimited messaging, treatment monitoring, and medication management. The cost of your prescription medication may fall under your pharmacy benefits plan and may require an additional copay.
When you sign up for services, we’ll provide details about any cost-share responsibilities that we’re able to look up on your behalf. We also recommend that you contact your health insurance plan directly to verify that your care at Brightside will be covered.
After your visit, Brightside will submit claims for services rendered to your insurance plan. When your insurance has processed the claim, they will send you an Explanation of Benefits (EOB), telling you what services were billed, what amount was covered by the insurer, and what balance, if any, you are responsible for.
You will be billed after your insurance has processed the claim and has sent us an Explanation of Benefits (EOB), telling us what services were billed, what amount was covered by the insurer, and what balance you owe. We will then send you an invoice outlining the details of your responsibility. We will then charge the credit card you have on file.
For other questions about your coverage, you can contact Member Services at [email protected]. We’re here to help.
If you have questions about coverage details or cost-share responsibilities, we recommend reaching out directly to your insurance plan for more information.
Should you have any additional questions or concerns about Brightside’s privacy or security policies, and the organization’s firm commitment to protecting your personal information, please contact one or both of the following individuals:
Rocky Mosquera – Privacy Officer
Roberta Anderson – Security Officer
In the event of a security incident impacting customer data, Brightside Health will notify you in writing about the incident, which shall include the information that may have been compromised, the cause of the breach, and any remedial actions Brightside is taking to mitigate damages and prevent any recurrences. Additionally, Brightside will self-report the breach to the Department of Health & Human Services.
Brightside Health has a formal, documented process for granting and revoking access to company resources (systems, data, etc.) that is supported by technical, administrative, and physical controls.
Brightside Health has a formal, documented process for reviewing and assessing technical vulnerabilities. The process includes evaluating for risk and correcting in a timely manner.
Brightside Health takes your security and privacy very seriously. We endeavor to: (1) Protect your confidentiality; (2) Prevent against unauthorized access of your personal data; and (3) Defend against anticipated threats. As such, we have a myriad of technical, administrative, and physical security controls in place.
Brightside Health prioritizes your privacy. Not only does our technology exceed industry security standards, and is HIPAA compliant, but we also follow best practices when determining appropriate uses and disclosures of your protected health information. Read more about our Privacy Practices here.
Brightside Health will never sell your information to third parties. When you partner with us, you can have confidence that we do not sell your data to other companies.
Brightside Health is HIPAA compliant and follows all HIPAA requirements including, but not limited to: (1) Privacy Rule; (2) Transactions and Code Sets Rule; (3) Security Rule; (4) Unique Identifiers Rule; and (5) Enforcement Rule.