We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Healthline only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.

Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
  • Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
  • Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
  • Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness.
Was this helpful?

Cerebral is an online mental health tool that offers medication management and mental health counseling.

Cerebral online mental health serviceShare on Pinterest
Product Review, CBD Product Review, CBD, Product Review, bath, broad-spectrum, capsule, cbd, full-spectrum, tincture

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 1 in 5 U.S. adults lives with a mental health condition, ranging from mild to severe.

While mental health conditions are common, stigmas and barriers can often prevent people from getting the help they need. Though mental health is proven to have a direct impact on physical health, it can often fall by the wayside.

Now more than ever, the conversation around mental health is shifting, thanks to social media and access to online therapy and telemedicine.

Cerebral, sometimes called Get Cerebral, is an online mental health tool providing medication management and counseling. It was founded in 2019.

While Cerebral is still available for online therapy, in 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) launched an investigation into the company’s medication prescribing practices after claims of overprescribing and lack of quality care. As a result, Cerebral has stopped prescribing most controlled substances to new clients, a practice that remains unchanged as of early 2024.

Pros

  • There are multiple plans available based on customer needs.
  • Cerebral offers convenient and accessible mental health care.
  • They offer low-cost prescriptions.
  • Cerebral is available to those who are uninsured.
  • Cerebral is now available in all 50 states and D.C.
  • They’re flexible spending account (FSA) and health savings account (HSA) eligible.
Was this helpful?

Cons

  • The services are not suitable for some mental health conditions or circumstances, including manic episodes, substance use, schizophrenia, and suicidal ideation.
  • Cerebral is not recommended for those who are pregnant or nursing.
  • The services are only available to clients ages 18 years and older.
  • Cerebral is unable to prescribe controlled substances, like stimulants, including ADHD medications. They do, however, prescribe non-stimulant ADHD medications in most states.
Was this helpful?

Cerebral is a mental health subscription platform that provides customers with ongoing, comprehensive access to online care and medication management for:

For a monthly flat fee, the company provides:

  • access to medical professionals
  • care counselors
  • licensed therapists

Online services, like Cerebral, reduce barriers to mental health care. The company has a mission to improve access to high-quality mental health care with its one-stop-shop approach.

Their telemedicine format also makes connecting with a care team simple for those with limited schedules.

CerebralBrightsideTalkspaceBetterHelp
Services offered
care and medication management for depression, anxiety, and insomnia
medication and talk therapy planstalk therapy, couples therapy, online psychiatric evaluation, and medication managementindividual therapy for adults, teen therapy,
couples therapy
Pricing
$95 to $365 monthly
$95 to $349 monthly$276 to $436 monthly$65 to $90 per week (billed every 4 weeks)
Best forpeople with depression, anxiety, and insomniapeople looking for a flexible way to address symptoms of depression or anxietypeople with anxiety,
addiction,
depression,
eating disorders, or PTSD
people seeking help with stress,
anxiety,
relationships, depression, trauma,
addiction, or self-esteem issues
Customer reviews (Trustpilot)4 stars1.5 stars2.8 stars4.5 stars

As of early 2024, Cerebral is still offering all services with one major change: The company has stopped prescribing most controlled substances (stimulants and benzodiazepines), except those needed to help treat opioid use disorder. CVS Health also stated it will stop filling prescriptions from the company.

In early 2022, Cerebral received widespread news attention after claims that the company was violating the Controlled Substances Act by prescribing medication irresponsibly and too hastily. In May 2022, the CEO stepped down amid the controversy and was replaced by the company’s chief medical officer and president.

In 2023, Cerebral faced multiple legal challenges. John Doe I and John Doe II filed a class-action lawsuit in April, accusing the company of disclosing medical information to Meta Platforms without consent. This involved violations of privacy laws, and though Cerebral admitted to using tracking technology, it claimed to have removed it.

Additionally, the New York Attorney General reached an agreement with Cerebral regarding deceptive cancellation practices. Cerebral is required to pay over $540,000 in restitution to affected consumers. The agreement also mandates improvements to Cerebral’s cancellation process to ensure it is fair and transparent.

In early 2022, a former Cerebral employee filed a labor lawsuit against the company. The employee stated that they were fired after claiming the platform is too quick to prescribe stimulants to clients.

The Drug Enforcement Agency also did a review and interviewed former employees about existing issues with clinician licensing and allegations about patients creating more than one Cerebral account to receive more medications.

Sign-up process

Signing up for Cerebral takes minutes and can be done from your phone or computer. You’ll be asked to take a brief psychological assessment to determine the best plan for you.

After signing up, you’ll get a prompt to schedule your first video or phone call to determine your treatment plan. Typically, the wait time for the appointment is less than 7 days, but occasionally it may take longer.

If you have an urgent request, you can sign into your account and message your account coordinator through the in-app live chat system. If any earlier appointments are available, you can schedule one now.

If prescribed medication, it’ll be delivered monthly (you cannot pick it up from a local pharmacy). The delivery cost is included in your subscription, but the actual cost of your medication will be billed separately. Rx clients spend an average of $20 per month, although some medications may be more expensive.

Next, depending on your selected plan, you’ll be matched with a care counselor or therapist.

Membership plans

Cerebral offers three membership plans for medication management, counseling, and online treatment.

Cerebral offers ongoing support—available as a mobile app and a web-based site—with:

  • doctors
  • nurse practitioners
  • physician assistants — which they call prescribing providers
  • your care counselor or therapist

Medication plan

The plan includes:

  • Initial 30-minute evaluation and diagnosis intake session with a licensed prescriber
  • Follow-up intake appointment
  • Ongoing monthly 15-minute check-ins for progress discussion and prescription renewals
  • Unlimited messaging with the on-call care team
  • Flexible meeting frequency based on individual needs
  • Option to schedule additional calls with the prescriber
  • Access to messaging the on-call care team as needed
  • Medication costs billed separately and may be covered by insurance

This plan costs $95 per month.

Medication and Therapy plan

The Medication and Therapy plan includes all of the medication services listed above as well as the following:

  • Comprehensive initial evaluation and diagnosis intake session
  • Tailored care plan for personalized treatment
  • Monthly assessments to track progress
  • Regular weekly 45-minute therapy sessions via video or phone with your therapist
  • Open communication with messaging available anytime between sessions

This plan costs $365 per month. Medications are billed separately.

Cerebral’s plans are now accessible in all 50 states and Washington D.C.

Therapy plan

This plan includes:

  • Comprehensive initial evaluation and diagnostic intake session
  • 45-minute weekly video or phone sessions with a licensed therapist
  • ongoing, secure messaging with your therapist at any time
  • regular progress tracking by your therapist

This plan costs $295 per month.

Deciding to seek out a counselor or therapist is a big step toward improving your health. While visiting a doctor’s office can feel intimidating, telemedicine may feel more approachable and convenient.

Cerebral is a fit for people who feel anxious going into an medical facility or have little time to commute to a doctor.

Your medical condition could determine whether Cerebral is the right fit for you. The company is best suited for those experiencing:

If you’re unsure about your condition, you can take a free psychological assessment before signing up to meet with a professional. You can also sign up and talk with a licensed professional who can do an evaluation and provide a diagnosis before proceeding with treatment and deciding on a monthly plan.

Though Cerebral has a trained team of counselors and prescribing providers, there are several conditions and circumstances the company says they should not be used for, including:

Keep in mind

Cerebral is not a substitute for emergency services.

In the event of a mental health emergency — if you’re thinking about harming yourself or someone else — call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.

Was this helpful?

While Cerebral states they can treat bipolar disorder, they might not be able to manage medication for this condition.

Likewise, patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) cannot receive prescribed stimulant drugs for their treatments unless they live in Washington.

Regardless of your condition, seeking out help is an important commitment to your overall well-being.

Many online services have become available over the last 25 years, allowing researchers to study the effects of internet-based counseling.

There is still limited research on the success of telemedicine and mental health apps, but the findings are promising.

Research indicates that online cognitive behavioral therapy yields equivalent results to face-to-face therapy. A 2019 review of outpatient telehealth determined that virtual and online psychiatry decreased negative symptoms and increased overall remission rates.

That being said, there have been few studies of psychiatric and somatic conditions so far. For the majority, internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) hasn’t been compared to face-to-face treatments.

More research with larger sample sizes is needed to determine how well they compare .

Convenience is a huge draw to online therapy. If you like being in an office or seeing your therapist in person, you may miss out on some nuances and small comforts you’d find in an office setting.

Cerebral’s plans range from $95 to $365 per month. Discounted prices are available for the first month. If you’re worried about commitment, plans are billed monthly and can be canceled at any time.

Note that while Cerebral is currently not prescribing controlled substances, the website still has medication plans available.

The plans are priced as follows:

PlansCost
Medication$95 monthly
Therapy$295 monthly
Medication and Therapy$365 monthly

FSA and HSA eligibility

Cerebral’s mental health offerings are eligible for coverage with FSAs and HSAs.

If your program requires a receipt for reimbursement, the company’s customer support team can provide you with an itemized receipt.

Privacy is a valid concern when looking for a mental health service. The U.S Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects sensitive information relating to your health on Cerebral’s website and app.

Personal health information collected by Cerebral may be used to share with providers and insurers, but this data is only used to help them perform their services and respond to your medical and mental health care professionals and insurers.

Cerebral has more than 29,100 reviews in the Apple App Store, with an average 4.6-star rating, and more than 4,900 reviews on Trustpilot, with an average 4-star rating, at the time of publication.

Most reviews are positive and applaud Cerebral’s quality counselors, ease of use, medication tracking, and helpful care team.

Many reviewers say Cerebral was “life changing,” they express that they feel heard by their counselor.

Some reviewers say their care team makes them feel comfortable and that using the online service circumvents their anxiety when visiting a therapy office.

While most reviews are positive, reviewers still raise some complaints. Customers have raised concerns about:

  • difficult refill process and delays in prescription delivery
  • claims that healthcare professionals or counselors have missed virtual appointments
  • delayed replies to questions regarding prescription concerns
  • technical difficulties with the app

Mental health is a critical part of your general well-being. Yet, people may have difficulty deciding when it’s time to seek professional help. It’s important to remember that there’s help and support available, regardless of what you’re going through.

If you don’t feel like your usual self or find it challenging to get through the day, it might be time to seek help. Likewise, if you begin to feel or behave differently or lose interest in the things you love, you may want to consider talking with a professional.

Overwhelming feelings of stress, anxiety, and sadness may be a sign that you should see someone. Additionally, you may want to seek help from a mental health professional who can assist with guiding you through difficult feelings if you’re going through:

Trustworthy mental health professionals can provide support, guidance, and practical tools to help you through hard times. So if you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. It could be the best decision you ever make.

Yes. You can access your account through Cerebral’s main website or download the free app and keep your counselors close whenever you need them.

Cerebral is always working to expand its team of licensed professionals and the conditions they can treat, but right now, Cerebral is best for:

Cerebral is best suited for those with mild to moderate symptoms. If you’re experiencing a severe mental illness, a mental health crisis, and/or suicidal ideation, you should seek in-person immediate help. Cerebral is also not a fit for those seeking treatment for substance misuse.

Cerebral was recently investigated by the DOJ after claims that the company may be violating the Controlled Substances Act. It’s unclear whether the investigation is still ongoing, but Cerebral has stopped prescribing most controlled substances in the meantime.

Yes, Cerebral is a legitimate company. They’re an online telehealth platform that provides access to licensed mental health professionals in all U.S. states. While the company was recently investigated, the healthcare professionals do carry the appropriate licenses and certifications to legally see and meet with patients.

Telehealth has made mental health care accessible and affordable. While research for online apps and platforms is limited, online mental health services can be a cost-efficient and effective approach to treatment.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one approach to your mental health care that covers psychiatry and counseling, Cerebral offers help at a low cost.

Cerebral should not be used if you’re experiencing a severe mental illness or looking for substance use treatment.