Taking care of our mental health is just as important as exercising and eating right. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to medication and therapy. Brightside Health and its Crisis Care telehealth program is looking to change that.
As someone living with OCD and CPTSD, I can attest to how crucial finding the right support is. Unlike a cut or broken bone, a mental disorder, like depression for example, isn’t something others can see. This can lead to feelings of isolation and hopelessness.
According to John Hopskins Medicine, 1 in 4 adults have a diagnosable mental disorder. About 12.1 million individuals struggle with serious thoughts of suicide, according to Mental Health America, with 28 percent of adults reporting they are unable to obtain the mental health support they need.
Although there are a variety of reasons not everyone gets care like therapy or medication, affordability and accessibility remain top concerns. Along with having a variety of price plans, Brightside Health offers personalized treatments, created specifically for those struggling with anxiety disorders, depression, and other mood disorders.
What is Brightside Health?
What makes Brightside Health different from other telehealth services is its focus on helping those with anxiety disorders, and mood disorders like depression and bipolar II disorder. While teletherapy has been shown to be beneficial for those with low to moderately severe mental health issues, those living with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), PTSD, or social anxiety disorder need professionals with expertise in these areas.
Similar to going to a specialist opposed to a GP, having quick access to health care professionals who specialize in these specific disorders saves patients’ time finding the right therapist, as well as avoiding treatment-styles that may cause their condition to worsen.
Along with having clinicians who specialize in treating anxiety and depression, Brightside Health is equipped to help those in crisis (more on this later).
Whether a potential patient is seeking therapy, medication, or a combo of both, all they need to do is take the free assessment on the website where they share symptoms and goals. From there, they’re connected to a psychiatric provider or licensed therapist to discuss treatment options.
Patients have weekly follow up appointments, as well as unlimited messaging support between tele-visits. They also have access to virtual lessons that teach how to implement new behaviors. Providers track patients progress weekly, and can make adjustments to a care plan as needed.
In data provided by Brightside Health, 86 percent of members feel better within 12 weeks. Seventy-one percent experience remission in the same timeframe. That’s more than half.
While telehealth has made it easier to access therapy, for those struggling with suicidal ideation, traditional tele-therapy alone may not be suitable. Last December, Brightside Health rolled out their Crisis Care program, designed to support those at elevated risk.
The four to 12 week program is based on the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS) framework, which has been researched for 30 years. It includes one-on-one video sessions, 24/7 call support, anytime messaging, online checkins, and medication when necessary.
In a longitudinal observational study, co-written and led by Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mimi Winsberg, research revealed that 77 percent of the 8,366 participants enrolled in the program saw remission in suicidal ideation symptoms after 12 weeks.
“Patients with active suicide risk are often seen in settings where they cannot access the right kind of care,” said Winsberg in a press release. “With Crisis Care, patients are quickly connected with CAMS-trained clinicians to get the most appropriate care. In doing so, we will change how our healthcare system operates and begin to reverse the staggering national statistics on suicide.”
These impressive results not only indicate that Brightside Health’s Crisis Care may not only provide relief to those suffering, but be an avenue of support to families ill-equipped to aid hurting loved ones. It also can save them the financial burden of ER visits and unplanned hospitalizations.
Brightside Health works with a variety of insurance plans, such as Aetna, Cigna, and Allegiance. Cash paying patients can access a psychiatrist for $95 a month, and still have access to unlimited messaging and video follow-ups, and medication adjustments. Those seeking therapy pay $299 per month. According to a blog post by North Western Mutual, that’s $200 less than average.
Although anxiety and depression can feel isolating at times, help is available. And better still, a result-driven platform like Brightside Health gives anyone a chance to access it. There’s no need to suffer alone, and there’s no shame in reaching out for support.