Good mental health is important during the best of times. But this year, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, mental health is especially important. However, seeing a medical doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist in the current environment is difficult for many people. Fortunately, Cerebral telemedicine provides a safe and efficient way for people to connect with mental health professionals online and get the help they need from the comfort of home. In this article we explain how Cerebral’s online therapy works, what it costs and look at which people are likely to benefit the most from the service.
How It Works:
Essentially, Cerebral is an online mental health service that connects patients with comprehensive virtual care and for anxiety, depression and insomnia. The company will also provide patients with evidence-based therapeutic techniques that can maximize the success of their various treatment plans. Cerebral connects people with Board-certified psychiatrists who can diagnose and treat anxiety, depression and insomnia and prescribe medication for these mental health issues. The company operates by putting customers on a monthly subscription / payment plan.
The telemedicine model employed by Cerebral gives people the ability to schedule virtual visits for therapy or counseling whenever it is convenient for them. The Cerebral approach aims to address factors such as cost, convenience and fear of judgment that can prevent people from accessing the mental health system. The virtual model provides flexibility that’s perfect for most people, especially when sheltering at home. Customers of Cerebral need to be at least 18 years old and live in a state where Cerebral currently operates, which includes most of the continental U.S.
Cerebral is led by mental health professionals and it’s clear that they take pride in the fact that they hand-select their team of board-certified psychiatrists, physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. To access Cerebral, just take the following steps:
- Fill out a short online questionnaire.
- Choose a subscription plan. There are three different subscription options (some are only available in certain states), each with different offerings and prices.
- Schedule a virtual visit with your professional mental health provider. Typically, people can book a meeting seven days in advance.
- Meet with the healthcare provider. They’ll determine a treatment plan and will check in periodically via video to ensure everything’s on track. And if a treatment plan involves taking a prescription medication, it will be shipped directly to your address.
Additionally, a “Care Counselor” meets with customers once a month to discuss their progress and teach new skills, like effective mindfulness and grounding to help alleviate anxiety. The provider is typically the psychiatrist who does an initial consult and helps with any treatment and medication plans. The Care Counselor meets with customers each month to discuss how treatment is going, provide new skills and talk about how medication is working.
Plans and Costs:
Cerebral offers three subscription plans that each have different pricing. They are as follows:
- Medication and Basic Care Plan: $45 for the first month, $99 per month onward
- This is Cerebral’s standard plan and the one most people subscribe to. In this plan, a psychiatrist creates a personalized treatment plan for patients, and a Care Counselor acts as a guide through the entire process. Cerebral ships any medication directly to people’s door each month. The cost of most medications and their delivery is included in the monthly prescription.
- Therapy Plan: $99 for the first month, $259 per month onward
- With this higher end plan, customers get access to a licensed therapist who meets with them each week. However, patients in this plan do not meet with a psychiatrist or have medication delivered. Cerebral says they have increased their therapy team this year and can provide weekly ongoing treatments to people who choose this plan. The higher price reflects the increase in treatment sessions.
- Medication and Therapy Plan: $139 for the first month, $339 per month onward
- This plan basically combines the first two options. It provides a list of the best licensed therapists, from which people can choose the therapist that’s right for them. Customers meet with the therapist weekly and the licensed therapist takes the place of a Care Counselor, so they will check on the effectiveness of medication and the overall treatment plan. This is the most expensive plan, but it is also the most comprehensive.
What Cerebral Is Not:
Cerebral is largely focused on treating the niche areas of anxiety, depression and insomnia. The company would not be the right choice for people who are experiencing suicidal thoughts, have
substance abuse issues, Schizophrenia, or are pregnant or nursing a baby. The company is focused on long-term treatment plans to address mental health problems. People in serious emotional distress or who are having suicidal thoughts should call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
It’s also important to know that any medications prescribed will be the generic versions, which are cheaper than brand name prescription drugs. Also, customers cannot use their health insurance with Cerebral. The company does not work one-on-one with insurance providers, and they’re not currently in-network for any insurers.
- Connect patients with Board-certified psychiatrists
- Prescriptions delivered to you if appropriate for treatment
- Available in most U.S. states
- Tiered pricing that lets people choose the best plan for them personally
- Only one type of plan provides access to a psychiatrist
- Cannot use health insurance to cover the costs
What Others Are Saying:
Cerebral has several impressive reviews online, including one from New York Magazine that declares the company to be the “Best online service for mental health.” Customer reviews are also generally positive, with people focusing on the ease of use and convenience of Cerebral’s totally virtual, online platform. People seem to like the fact that they can access a therapist or psychiatrist on their own time from the comfort of their home. The reviews of Cerebral are overwhelmingly positive.
The Bottom Line:
Cerebral is not the right choice for all mental health concerns. The company is focused exclusively on anxiety, depression, and insomnia. People with other more severe problems should seek help elsewhere from another medical provider. But for people who want regular mental health support that they can access on their own time from home, Cerebral is a great option. The flexible plans and costs are also attractive and should appeal to people who need help with mental health and who are also budget conscious. Visit Cerebral to learn more.