Member Spotlight: Chelle’s Story
Mental illness affects people just like me. Mental illness affects people different from me. You can’t just “snap out of it.” And it’s...
How It Works
We treat the following Mental Health conditions:
Brightside Psychiatry 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 in certain situations. These include (but are not limited to):
Our providers do not prescribe controlled substances.
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 a multi-pronged approach leads to the best outcomes in the treatment of mental health conditions .
There are three primary treatment angles for mental health conditions: therapy, psychiatry (including medication management), and self-care. We offer each of these treatment modalities as part of our comprehensive care plans.
Brightside offers convenient, affordable, and private therapy via weekly video sessions, and unlimited messaging with a licensed therapist as you complete evidence-based audio lessons and practice exercises that equip you with the skills you need to feel better.
Brightside psychiatric providers will complete a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, and suggest a personalized treatment plan, which may include psychiatric medication. Subsequently your clinician will monitor your care, adjusting treatment as necessary so you get the best outcomes.
There’s no guarantee that all patients will receive a prescription. Medication will be prescribed if it is determined to be a safe, effective, and appropriate treatment option 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 mental health care from the privacy of your home.
Here’s how Psychiatry works:
Here’s how Therapy works:
Our expert providers are handpicked for their ability to provide best-in-class mental health care. They have years of experience and active licenses in your state.
All of our therapists have:
-A master’s or doctorate degree in clinical psychology, clinical social work, or counseling from an accredited program
-Experience delivering science-backed (also known as evidence-based) care for anxiety & depression
All of our psychiatric providers are:
-Psychiatrists, physicians, or psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs)
-Exceptionally skilled at prescribing effective medication
Every provider in our network goes through a rigorous hiring and vetting process. They also follow the same high clinical standards as in-person providers.
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 typically no blood tests that need to be checked in order to diagnose these conditions.
Because of this, your provider doesn’t necessarily need to be in-person and physically present to effectively diagnose and treat depression and anxiety. Providers can review your symptoms, health history, and other considerations remotely, then consult with you to verify their diagnosis and discuss treatment options.
Delivering care online can enable your provider to more closely monitor your progress, and communicate that progress more effectively and frequently 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.
That said, remote care isn’t a good fit for everyone. For example, people with certain psychiatric diagnoses may benefit from in-person care; as may people with chronic medical conditions such as liver disease, kidney disease, seizures, or certain cardiac arrhythmias.
Yes, of course. If your provider is not the right fit or you are unsatisfied, reach out to our Member Support Team from your account at any time.
All of our Brightside providers are handpicked for their ability to provide best-in-class mental health care. To ensure the highest quality of care, every provider in our network undergoes a rigorous hiring and vetting process. You can learn more about the process here.
Brightside’s Psychiatry plan costs $95 per month + your pharmacy copay – if you have insurance prescription (Rx) benefits. 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 four video sessions and unlimited messaging with a licensed therapist who helps guide you through a personalized program using evidence-based approaches. Additional 45-minute video appointments with your therapist are available for $59 per session.
Our integrated Psychiatry + Therapy program costs $349 per month – a savings of $45. In addition to the benefits of the Psychiatry 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.
Mental health conditions are complicated. To make sure you are on the right treatment, and making appropriate progress, we will ask you to complete check-ins periodically to let us know how you’re doing. Your provider will review these check-ins to help them decide whether making an adjustment will help you get better, faster, and stay that way longer.
You can also use this information to track your own progress over time.
Brightside Health and its associated platform is HIPAA compliant and follows all HIPAA requirements including, but not limited to, the Privacy Rule. We encrypt data in transit and at rest. All communication with our software is done using signatures with a cryptographic hash algorithm. As well, all information is encrypted at rest once stored on our servers.
Your safety is extremely important to us. If you are in emotional distress or thinking about hurting yourself, please make use of these resources:
Help is always available. We also recommend reaching out to a family member or friend to let them know that you are having these thoughts and to ask for help and support.
Depression & Treatments
At Brightside, you’ll always be cared for by an expert psychiatric care team. This may include a psychiatrist, a doctor, and/or a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Your provider is by your side throughout your path to feeling better – from making adjustments to your personal treatment plan until it’s right, to helping decide if and when it’s time to taper off medication.
Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, your psychiatric provider will use Brightside’s PrecisionRx to determine which medication is best for you. This method analyzes over 100 data points about you to recommend to your provider the medication most likely to work best, and be most tolerable, for you. Brightside offers effective treatment with nonaddictive medications like SSRIs and SNRIs. We do not prescribe controlled substances such as benzodiazepines (ie. Xanax, Ativan) or stimulants (ie. Adderall, Ritalin)..
Here’s how our Psychiatry plan works:
If appropriate, your provider may prescribe you one or more medications based on your specific needs. Listed here are many, but not all, of the medications our psychiatric providers 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].
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 aged 24 or younger. Watch out for worsening 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 988 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 Primary Care Provider 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 non-steroidal 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 like 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 Provider immediately.
SSRIs may be associated with an increased risk of birth defects. If you are pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or breastfeeding, consult your Provider 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 Provider 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.
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.
While psychotherapy has been shown to be effective at reducing symptoms of depression, 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 include therapy as part of your treatment plan, 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. CBT can be a stand-alone treatment or a complement to another treatment approach, such as antidepressant medication.
Psychiatry: If you have a diagnosis of ADHD, our psychiatric providers can offer non-stimulant medications (like Strattera or Intuniv). However, please note that we do not prescribe any controlled substances (like Adderall or Ritalin).
Therapy: Our therapists can treat your ADHD symptoms with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which has been shown to be an effective treatment for ADHD.
Assessment or diagnosis
Brightside Health does not conduct assessments for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). If you’re experiencing symptoms of ADHD, we recommend finding a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist in your community who can conduct an evaluation for you.
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 your 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 Member Services team.
To request a refund, please log into your Brightside account and navigate to “Help” to contact our Member Services team.
Please note that we do not issue refunds after the time of 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.
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 Member Service Team.
You can find treatment information, including your provider’s medication instructions, on the medication card in your Web Dashboard and in the Account page of the mobile app. If you are concerned that your treatment is off track, you can click “Request a Review”, and your provider will follow up with you. (Note: These experiences will be unified in a future release.)
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: When you are ready to join the appointment, log in to the Brightside Portal and click “Join Appointment” on your Psychiatry 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. If you are using the Brightside mobile app, click the “Join your appointment” task 5 minutes prior to your appointment, or tap on “Join video call” on the relevant plan card on the “Appointments” tab.
Step 2: Once you are in your provider or therapist’s consultation room, you will want to make sure your video and microphone options are active and working on your device.
We understand things come up. To reschedule your appointment, log into Brightside and use the “Reschedule” button to select a new time. If you are using the mobile app, tap “Reschedule” under “Appointments.”
To respect your provider’s time and support availability for others seeking care, we ask that you reschedule your appointment more than 24 hours in advance. Missed appointments may result in a no-show fee of up to $70 per our Terms of Service.
Failure to attend appointments multiple times may result in a reassignment of your care or discharge from Brightside Health.
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.
Your therapist benefits from seeing your body language and facial expressions when you connect.
Besides appointments, you can message your provider or therapist directly. Our clinical hours are 9am to 6pm in your timezone. If you have an active subscription and are having trouble reaching or scheduling with your provider, please contact Member Services using the Help form in your account or [email protected].
You can send your provider a direct message at any time. Your psychiatric provider will respond to your message within 72 hours. Messages should be used for quick updates or to provide information about your treatment progress. If you believe a change to your medication or dose is needed, please request a review—your provider will not be able to make changes to your treatment through messaging alone.
You can message your Brightside therapist at any time. Your therapist will message you back within 24 hours on weekdays.
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 in emotional distress or thinking about hurting yourself, please make use of these resources:
Visit your local hospital
If you are having a medical or mental health emergency, call 911 or go to your local emergency department.
Call or text 988
You can call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline to talk to a counselor anytime.
Help is always available. We also recommend reaching out to a family member or friend to let them know that you are having these thoughts and to ask for help and support.
When scheduling your first appointment, you can browse all of our available providers in your state. Take a look at their profiles and check open times to find the best fit for you. Every Brightside provider undergoes a rigorous hiring and vetting process to ensure the highest quality care.
If you missed your appointment, your provider 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 use the “Help” form to contact our Member Support team.
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 session.
We hope that this never happens, but if it does, please log in to your Brightside account and navigate to “Help” to contact Member Services so that we can get you rescheduled right away.
When you pay with insurance, Brightside’s membership is free – all you’re responsible for is your copay, coinsurance, deductible, and prescription costs associated with your plan, and your insurance covers the rest.
We recommend that you check with your insurance company directly to confirm what amount, if any, you will be responsible to pay for Brightside services.
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.
Brightside currently accepts the following insurance:
We’ve made sure our care is affordable even without insurance, and paying for Brightside directly with your card (credit, debit, or HSA/FSA) is always an option. Self-pay plans start at $95/month. Coverage varies by state. We can check your insurance and confirm your eligibility during your free assessment.
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 and charge the credit card you have on file.
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.