Depression and anxiety affect millions of Americans each and every year. And this year has been exceptionally tough, with more and more people feeling the strain and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unfortunately, more than three-quarters of those who have symptoms of anxiety and depression go untreated. Whether they’re too embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help or they don’t have the health insurance coverage or financial means to seek therapy, there are too many people pushing through a mental illness right now.
Thankfully, there are some amazing options available today that are making accessing mental healthcare easier and more accessible than ever before. Online therapy or telehealth is making a big splash in the medical world, for a number of reasons. While it was on the increase prior to COVID-19, it has exploded since then.
Today, I’m comparing two of the top-rated online mental health brands, Cerebral and Brightside, putting them head to head so that you can determine which brand is best for you and your needs. Everyone deserves access to the tools, medications, and treatments they need to feel like themselves and live their lives to the fullest and D2C telehealth companies like Cerebral and Brightside are making that possible.
Why Choose Online Mental Health Care?
I’ll preface this section by saying that online mental health care is NOT for everyone, however, with the amazing advancements in technology we have these days, it IS a great option for many. Companies like Cerebral and Brightside are making getting the mental help you need for anxiety and depression easier than ever before - you don’t even need to leave your home!
Benefits of mental telehealth services
Here are just a few of the benefits of choosing telehealth for anxiety and depression:
Convenience and affordability:
Instead of waiting weeks to get into a physical office and then being forced to accept whatever the first available appointment is, online therapy allows you to schedule times that are most convenient for you, and you get to attend from the comfort of your own home. Additionally, the cost is significantly lower because there is less overhead for the therapists, which means that they can pass those savings onto you.
Whether we like it or not, mental illness has a stigma attached to it. We often feel ashamed, embarrassed, and therefore reluctant to seek the help we need. For those who aren’t comfortable talking to someone in person, they often find great solitude and bravery in teletherapy. Also, those who don’t live close to a provider’s office, don’t have insurance, or can’t afford traditional in-person therapy are now getting the chance to get the treatment they deserve.
More comprehensive, personalized care:
When you visit your therapist’s office, you may see them once a week, or month, but should you have any questions in between, you have to jump through hoops to see them again or get on the phone with someone. With companies like Cerebral and Brightside, you have 24/7 access to a care team that provides regular monitoring, tracking, and follow-up on your condition. It ends up being a more personalized, comprehensive relationship because you have access to your provider when you need them.
Dedicated, specified care:
Sure, you can go to your primary care physician and ask for anxiety medication, but they likely don’t specialize in mental health treatments. By choosing an online telehealth provider that specializes in mental health, you’re getting access to the best of the best in specialized providers who can work to make sure you get exactly what you need for your unique situation and needs.
No more pharmacy trips or worrying about running out of your anxiety medications:
These online therapy services can prescribe anxiety medications, make sure you have the right dosage, and deliver them right to your door each month. No waiting, no follow-up visits, no pharmacy trips, and no lapses in treatment.
Cerebral vs. Brightside: A head-to-head comparison
If you’re interested in online mental healthcare and have narrowed it down to Brightside vs. Cerebral, the one you choose will depend on a couple of things; where you live and what kind of treatment you need.
Both platforms offer professional treatment from licensed doctors and therapists for anxiety and depressions, however Cerebral also offer treatment for insomnia, an often-overlooked mental illness can have a profound effect on your life. Aside from that differentiation, both platforms offer programs that prescribe medications, offer therapist treatment, and combine both modalities.
Take a look at the table below to see how these two teletherapy providers differ and to give you an idea as to which one you should consider for your treatment.
Depression, anxiety, insomnia
Medication Plan, Therapy Plan, Medication + Therapy Plan
Medication + Basic Care Plan, Medication + Therapy Plan, Therapy Plan
Where is treatment available:
Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia
Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, and Wisconsin
California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington
SSRIs and SNRIs
SSRIs and SNRIs
✅ Yes, with your licensed therapist and medical provider.
✅ Yes, with your licensed therapist, medical provider, and Care Counselor.
Medication included in monthly cost?
Medication Plan: $95 per month + your pharmacy copay or $15 per medication
Therapy: $165 per month
Medication + Therapy Plan: $240 per month + your pharmacy copay or $15 per medication
Medication + Basic Care plan: $99/month
Therapy plan: $259/month
Medication + Therapy Plan: $339 per month
The Nitty Gritty: Which Plan is Better?
I honestly think that both of these D2C telehealth brands (read our top list of telemedicine brands here) are doing a phenomenal job serving the needs of so many and are radically changing the mental health space. That said, you came here to get an answer as to which platform is better and/or gives you the most bang for your buck. The best online mental health platform, in my opinion (after researching both brands extensively!), is Cerebral.
- They include insomnia treatment, which is amazing considering over 60 million Americans suffer from this condition.
- Their price includes the cost of medication and is not dependent on how much your copay is. Many people with healthcare insurance have excessive specialist copays which can easily make the monthly cost astronomically larger.
- They have Care Counselors that they assign to each member who is your constant point of contact and resource throughout your whole journey. They get to know you, your health, and your progress, and they help you through every step of the way.
- Their services are available in more states than Brightside and they are constantly working to expand! If services are not available in your state right now, be sure to check back soon because they are in the process of adding licensed providers for every state.
Seeking therapy online can be a great option for so many people. Whether it’s simply more convenient than visiting your doctor, you want to avoid going to medical offices in light of COVID-19, or you are reluctant to seek in-person help for fear of judgment or embarrassment, both Cerebral and Brightside are making it possible for you to get the help you need and deserve.
Telehealth is the healthcare of the future, and many insurance companies are acknowledging this by covering teletherapy visits. You do not need to suffer in silence, nor do you need to jump through hoops, taking time off work, wasting time at the pharmacy, and chasing around your provider just to get the help you need for your depression and anxiety.
When compared head-to-head, Cerebral is the number one choice thanks to its low cost, ease of use, availability, and dedication to creating a comprehensive plan and follow up that ensure you have what you need at all times and never feel alone on your journey to living your best life.