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

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults live with a mental health condition.

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 referred to as Get Cerebral and founded in 2019, is an online mental health tool providing both medication management and counseling.

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 stopped prescribing most controlled substances to new patients, but the investigation is currently ongoing.

Keep reading to learn more about the teletherapy platform.


  • 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.
  • They’re flexible spending account (FSA) and health savings account (HSA) eligible.
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  • Cerebral therapy services are not available in all states.
  • 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.
  • Cerebral is currently undergoing investigation by the DOJ over their medication-prescribing practices.
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Cerebral is a mental health subscription platform that provides customers with ongoing, comprehensive access to online care and medication management for anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

The company provides access to medical professionals, care counselors, and licensed therapists for a monthly flat fee.

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.

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 quickly.

The claims are currently under investigation by the DOJ, but in May 2022, the CEO stepped down amid the controversy and was replaced by the company’s chief medical officer and president.

All services are still being offered by Cerebral with one major change: The company agreed to stop prescribing most controlled substances, with the exception of those needed to help treat opioid use disorder. CVS Health also stated it will stop filling prescriptions from the company.

While there has been some back and forth in the news between the company and the former CEO, there haven’t been any official updates from the DOJ or related government agencies as of this article’s publication.

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 DOJ is currently investigating the platform for overprescribing medications, a possible violation of the Controlled Substances Act.

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.

In late 2022, there was speculation that the former Cerebral CEO was planning to pursue litigation after reviewing company information, but there hasn’t been an official lawsuit filed at this time.

Additionally, in 2021, Cerebral was criticized for changing more than 200 of their employees from salaried to hourly.

Sign-up process

Signing up for Cerebral takes a matter of minutes and can be done from your phone or computer. You’ll be asked to take a brief psychological assessment to determine which plan is best 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’ll be able to schedule one at this time.

If you’re prescribed medication, it’ll be delivered monthly (you cannot pick it up from a local pharmacy). The delivery cost is included in the cost of your subscription, but the actual cost of your medication will be billed separately. Most medications cost $10, although some may be more expensive.

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

Membership plans

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

Available as a mobile app and a web-based site, Cerebral offers ongoing support with doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants — which they call prescribing providers — and your care counselor or therapist.

Medication and Care Counseling plan

The plan includes:

  • evaluation, diagnosis and prescription by a prescribing provider, plus ongoing phone or video meetings
  • monthly medication delivery
  • monthly phone or video meetings with a care counselor who will share behavioral health techniques and coping mechanisms
  • unlimited care team messaging
  • access to a medical professional for questions and concerns
  • regular progress tracking by your prescribing provider and counselor

This plan costs $99 per month. Medications are billed separately.

Cerebral’s care counselors are trained in therapeutic techniques, but not all counselors are licensed therapists.

Care counseling is not currently offered in Missouri and Oklahoma.

Medication and Coaching plan

The plan includes:

  • evaluation, diagnosis, and prescription by a prescribing provider
  • monthly medication delivery with no added shipping fee
  • weekly video or phone sessions with a licensed therapist
  • ongoing, secure messaging with your therapist at any time
  • access to a medical professional for questions and concerns
  • regular progress tracking by your prescribing provider and therapist

This plan costs $325 per month. Medications are billed separately.

Currently, the Medication and Therapy plan is available in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Cerebral is working to expand its network of licensed therapists and serve additional states.

Coaching plan

This plan includes:

  • 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 $259 per month.

Like the previous plan, therapy is available online to clients in the 32 aforementioned states.

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 great fit for people who feel anxious going into an office 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 depression, anxiety, or insomnia.

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:

  • substance use
  • schizophrenia
  • suicidal ideation
  • pregnancy or nursing

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 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

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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.

A profusion of online services has 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 behavior therapy yields equivalent results to face-to-face therapy. A 2019 review of outpatient telehealth determined that virtual psychiatry decreased negative symptoms and increase 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 to one another.

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 $99 to $325 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:

Medication and Care Counseling$99 monthly
Therapy$259 monthly
Medication and Therapy$325 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. Sensitive information relating to your health is protected by the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) 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 27,000 reviews in the Apple App Store, with an average 4.6-star rating, and more than 4,700 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,” and 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 the anxiety they have visiting a therapy office.

While most reviews are positive, there are still some complaints that reviewers raise. 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
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$99 to $325 monthly$95 to $349 monthly$69 to $129 per week$60 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,
eating disorders, or PTSD
people seeking help with stress,
relationships, depression, trauma,
addiction, or self-esteem issues
Customer reviews (Trustpilot)4 stars2.2 stars1.2 stars4.6 stars

Mental health is a critical part of your general well-being. Yet, people may have difficulty when 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, if you’re going through a big life change, like the loss of a loved one, divorce, or moving, you may want to seek help from a mental health professional who can assist with guiding you through difficult feelings.

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.

Is there a Cerebral mobile app?

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.

What conditions can Cerebral care teams treat?

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

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • postpartum depression (Cerebral is not recommended for those who are breastfeeding.)
  • menopausal depression
  • ADHD (in certain states)
  • Bipolar disorder (in certain states)
  • PTSD (in certain states)

Who shouldn’t use online counseling or Cerebral?

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.

Is Cerebral being investigated?

Yes, Cerebral is currently being investigated by the DOJ after claims that the company may be violating the Controlled Substances Act. The investigation is still ongoing, but Cerebral has stopped prescribing most controlled substances in the meantime.

Is Cerebral a legit company?

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 is currently being 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.

Jillian Goltzman is a freelance journalist covering culture, social impact, wellness, and lifestyle. She’s been published in various outlets, including Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Fodor’s Travel Guide. Outside of writing, Jillian is a public speaker who loves discussing the power of social media — something she spends too much time on. She enjoys reading, her houseplants, and cuddling with her corgi. Find her work on her website, blog, Twitter, and Instagram.