Brightline is an online mental health platform available nationwide for kids and teens that provides coaching and therapy. During our independent review of Brightline Mental Health, they earned 3 out of 5 stars overall. Services can be offered to kids as young as 18 months old, with therapy and medication management available for ages 6 – 17. Brightline costs $270 for a 60-90 minute initial evaluation and $70 – $225 per session, depending on which service you choose. Several insurance plans are accepted which could lower these costs and there are superbills available to those out-of-network.
Rating of Brightline’s Online Therapy
Lena Suarez-Angelino is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) that specializes in self-esteem, stress management, and life transitions. She has been practicing for six years and is based in New Jersey. Lena has been writing for Choosing Therapy since 2020 and in the fall of 2022 began reviewing online therapy and mental health apps. During her independent review, Brightline Health earned 3 out of 5 stars overall, performing best in the categories of “Geographic Location”, “Attending Live Video Sessions” and “Online Therapy Cost”. However, Brightline underperformed in the categories of “Therapist Matching or Selection” and “Extra Features & Resources” compared to its competitors.
Pros & Cons of Brightline Health
Brightline appears to offer a lot of support and ease of accessibility for kids and teens, and their families. As a company, they stand out by not only being able to offer coaching and behavior therapy as well as and medication support. Additionally, they have options for employers and health plans to expand access. Being only virtual can be seen as both a pro and a con to Brightline as you can see listed below.
How to Sign Up for Brightline Health
To learn more about how to sign up for care, you can visit the Brightline Health website
What Is Brightline Health?
Brightline Health is an online mental health care platform available nationwide that focuses on supporting kids, teens, and their families. Brightline Health provides behavioral health, coaching, medication support, and on-demand learning resources. An initial 60-90 minute assessment costs $270 with all other services costing $70 – $225 depending on what your family needs. Brightline does accept select insurance plans, which could lower your out-of-pocket costs.
After an initial evaluation, Brightline offers three services:
- Coaching: For $70 per 30-minute session, you will have a video visit with a behavioral health coach that will help build skills for everyday challenges. There are program modules available to help families with anxiety, stress, sleep issues, and more.
- Behavior Therapy: For $225 per 55-minute session, you will have video visits with a licensed therapist or psychologist with personalized care for conditions like anxiety, depression, ADHD, and more. Medication support is available if needed.
- Medication Support: For $190 per 30-minute session, your child will receive a consultation, medication evaluation, and treatment.
At this time, Brightline offers services across all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. After you complete the sign-up process, you are assigned a coach and you will begin texting with them right away so they can better understand what support your family needs. Anytime your coach sends you a message, you will receive an email notification making it less likely you miss something important.
The treatment length for behavioral therapy depends on the level of need and severity of symptoms. Therapy is individualized and will be discussed with your child’s therapist in the first couple of sessions. Behavioral therapy and medication support are provided to children ages 6-17, but therapy can begin with children as young as 18 months. Brightline Coaching programs are tailored to specific topics relevant to the age of the child, therefore for younger children aged 3-5, the coaching is more directed toward parents and caregivers.
Typically, parents will be involved in the first session with their child’s therapist and then find out the frequency for checking in after that. The younger the child is, the more parent involvement there will be. Brightline also offers a Member Support team that can help you switch therapists if you do not feel the first therapist is a good fit. Additionally, Brightline’s website offers great extra features like Brightline Connect, which has self-guided resources and interactive exercises to manage day-to-day challenges.
When I used Brightline Health, I found their onboarding and web application user-friendly. I really appreciated their fast responses to my questions and thorough assessment regarding my child’s needs. I especially enjoyed having the opportunity to inquire about medication services with a medical professional within Brightline as opposed to looking elsewhere.
Who Is Brightline Health Right For?
Brightline Health is great for a one-stop shop for busy parents with multiple children, for families needing a dynamic support team, and for those unsure if therapy will help them.
Busy Parents With Multiple Children
Brightline Health offers a variety of services, including parent coaching, therapy, and medication management. It feels like a no-brainer for the busy parent that has multiple children who need support. For example, I could forsee clients scheduling appointments for parent coaching to help their youngest with their emotions, their middle schooler that is experiencing low self-esteem and anxiety, and their high schooler that needs a coach to help them think about their future. The on-demand resource library is another great tool for busy parents to learn more about certain mental health topics.
Brightline allows access to multiple professionals in order to gain better insight into the day-to-day stressors your child is dealing with. This means less time having to constantly go through the process of finding a new place or platform each time. When you sign up you are automatically assigned a coach and from there you are able to request to meet with a therapist and psychiatric nurse practitioner. Brightline emphasizes the importance of working collaboratively with other members of the care team in the best interest of your child.
Unsure if Therapy Will Help
Brightline makes it easy and accessible to see if therapy is the best solution for you and your child. Being able to meet initially with a coach and then meeting with a therapist can help you determine which is the best option for your child. There are some key differences between coaching and therapy, and being able to have both available in one place is rather ideal.
Who Might Want an Alternative to Brightline Health?
While Brightline Health has many great features, there are always other options available to consider that may be able to meet the needs of your family. Older teens, those in high-risk or crisis situations, and couples looking to work on their relationship will need to seek an alternative.
Older Teens Turning 18
Brightline offers their behavioral therapy services for kids and teens ages 6 – 17 years old. If you are just shy of turning 18, you may want to consider beginning your mental health journey with companies that are geared towards young adults instead, like with Joon Care. If your teen plans on attending college, most campuses offer free or low-cost therapy and counseling onsite. This may be a better alternative and a great way to build support in their next chapter.
To learn more about what their subscription offers, you can read our in-depth review of Joon Care.
High-Risk Crisis Situations
It is common that most online services, and even private practices, aren’t intended to be used as 24/7 crisis hotlines or high-risk support. If you, your child, or someone you know is in crisis, call 911, go to the nearest emergency room, or reach out to the following national resources. You’re never alone.
Couples Seeking Marriage Counseling
While Brightline can help parents deal with certain issues through coaching service, they are not intended to be used as couples counseling. The relationship parents and caregivers have with one another can affect the mental health of their children. For those seeking in-person couples counseling, you can browse an online therapist directory to search for a good fit. Or if you’d prefer the convenience of online couple counseling, you may want to consider a platform like ReGain.
To learn about what their subscription offers, you can read our comprehensive review of ReGain Couples Counseling.
Brightline Health User Reviews
While Brightline is still very much in its start-up phase, there have been some mixed reviews online. Their Google listing has no reviews and is not current in terms of being able to schedule an appointment. Their Facebook page only has one review, and it was discussing poor information in regards to their child’s therapist no longer working for Brightline. An inside source also shared that their hiring process felt somewhat messy and resulted in Brightline requesting to reschedule their interview multiple times.
I was able to find a review of Brightline that a member had posted on their Instagram. This user mentioned how Brightline was able to help their daughter shift to a more positive perspective.
How Much Does Brightline Health Cost?
Brightline costs $270 for a 60 – 90 minute initial evaluation with its other services ranging in cost from $70 – $225 per session. Brightline Health also has self-guided resources and interactive exercises to manage day-to-day challenges available for free.
After an initial evaluation, Brightline offers three services:
- Coaching: For $70 per 30-minute session, you will have 1:1 video visits with an expert behavioral health coach. During coaching, you will focus on skill-building for everyday challenges. There are program modules available to help families with anxiety, stress, sleep issues, and more. Coaching treatment plans generally last 4-6 weeks/sessions.
- Behavior Therapy: For $225 per 55-minute session, you will have 1:1 video visits with a licensed therapist or psychologist with personalized care for conditions like anxiety, depression, ADHD, and more. Medication support is available if needed. Therapy treatment plans generally last 8 – 16 weeks/sessions.
- Medication Support: For $190 per 30-minute session, your child will receive a consultation, medication evaluation, and treatment. This service is only available in conjuction with Brightline’s therapy services. Medication follow-up appointments are scheduled based on need and the medication prescribed but are typically monthly or at 3-month intervals.
Does Brightline Health Accept Insurance?
Yes, Brightline partners with all national health plans to help increase accessibility, reportedly covering around 60 million members nationwide. In addition, Brightline provides families with a Care Navigator team that helps with navigating your insurance and submitting a claim for reimbursement.
Brightline states they will provide families with a superbill and have a Care Navigator team that is ready to assist. Brightline has also partnered with Reimbursify to follow up with your insurance and file claims electronically.
How to Get Started With Brightline Health
After you sign up for Brightline, you will be connected to a coach and have access to their self-guided resource library. During the sign up process you will be explain any special considerations, such as autism, gender identity, racial and ethnic identity, or sexual identity.
Here are the steps from sign-up to meeting with your therapist:
- Sign up for an account on the Brightline website.
- Check the messages in your dashboard to complete an assessment.
- Complete your initial evaluation where you will discuss what your child needs/wants to focus on.
- Choose the type of service you think is best for your child, either coaching or behavioral therapy. Please note your child must be enrolled in therapy in order to receive medication support.
- Attend your first 1:1 live session, coaching or therapy, and discuss your child’s treatment plan.
Brightline Health’s Services: Detailed Reviews
Brightline’s mental health platform offers therapy, coaching, and medication management to kids 6 – 17 years old. There are also self-guided learning resources on their website available for free.
Brightline Health Behavior Therapy: Detailed Review
Brightline Health Behavior Therapy provides online therapy with a licensed therapist or psychologist. Brightline therapy provides an assessment and diagnosis, and treats more severe conditions. Brightline utilizes therapy to help kids, teens, and their families dive deeper into the past and support answering the bigger “why” questions for the presenting concerns. Each of their services begins with a 60-minute initial evaluation that costs $270 afterwards, weekly 55-minute behavioral therapy sessions cost $225.
Behavioral therapists work with children as young as six years old — for children younger than six, Brightline recommends that you work with a Brightline behavioral coach to work on parental management strategies. It appears that all initial contact and connection via Brightline is done through a coach. Once you meet with a coach, you are able to request to get connected with a therapist instead. Brightline states, “Your child won’t be in coaching and therapy at the same time. If your child needs therapy at any point, your coach can help your family transition their care to a Brightline therapist.” It is unclear what the turnaround time is to connect with a therapist via Brightline. Depending on the level of care needed, your child will most likely be recommended for weekly sessions.
Similar to traditional therapy, parental involvement is more frequent in the initial stages of building trust and rapport with your child. The younger the child, the more involved a parent will have to be. The care team is available for both parents/caregivers and the child to contact via chat.
Brightline Health Medication Support: Detailed Review
As stated previously, an initial 60-minute assessment through Brightline costs $270 and then sessions for medication support cost $190 for 30-minute sessions. It is in your child’s best interest that they are seen not only by the medication provider but also by a therapist via Brightline. In my experience, this is best practice so that your family is not only getting support via medication but also learning practice tools and strategies to manage day-to-day stressors.
Medication providers are Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners (PMHNP-BC) that can provide diagnostic evaluations and ongoing medication management services to children and teens. Additionally, Brightline looks to employ PMHNPs that are family-centered, with a warm and engaging clinical style. This is critical in finding quality care, especially for children and teens. The type of medication that is prescribed varies depending on the symptoms experienced. As far as needing any additional lab work prior, it is best to have a conversation with the PMHNP to obtain a lab work request. You are able to connect with the medication provider the same way you would connect with your child’s therapist via chat, or at the beginning or end of a session. Keep in mind that their availability may be limited in comparison to that of the behavioral therapist or behavioral coach.
Brightline Health Vs. Competitors
When comparing Brightline Health and its competitors, Brightline Health has more to offer for children and teens to manage their mental health. Brightline Health separates themselves from competitors in their ability to also provide access to medication support, in addition to parent coaching and therapy or coaching for teens. Brightline Health also offers more geographic coverage than some of its competitors, such as Manatee Health and Teen Counseling.
Brightline Health Vs. Manatee Health
Brightline Health and Manatee Health have some similarities and differences to be aware of. Both offer parent coaching, as well as coaching and therapy for children and teens. Aside from Brightline Health’s ability to offer medication support, their geographic coverage is more widespread. Manatee Health sets themselves apart by having a more user-friendly and comprehensive app, along with free resources and weekly parenting support groups.
You can learn more about their free resources and parent support groups by reading our comprehensive review of Manatee Health.
Brightline Health Vs. Teen Counseling
When comparing Brightline Health and Teen Counseling, there are some similarities and differences to take into consideration. Brightline Health and Teen Counseling both offer support from licensed mental health professionals and do so in the form of live 1:1 video sessions. They differ in the ability to provide on-demand resources, coaching, and medication support all within the same platform. Teen Counseling is apart of the BetterHelp brand and has a very wide therapist pool compared to Brightline.
To learn more about what subscription-based therapy can offer, you can read our in-depth Teen Counseling review.
How Brightline Health Has Evolved
Naomi Allen, co-founder, and CEO of Brightline identified the barrier to mental health services for children and their families. Brightline describes itself as a family-centered, pediatric-focused behavioral health solution. Brightline identifies that children are not just small adults, and they need a platform that is designed specifically for them to gain access to care. The idea that Brightline is your one-stop shop for in-house services really helps bring ease and reliability to families. Their secure web-based platform allows exercises and the ability to track progress in between sessions.
Brightline continues to grow, as stated on their About Us, “As the need for flexible care grows, Brightline will continue to leverage virtual care to support more and more families across the country. Everything Brightline does is to move families forward to reach their bright future.”
Brightline, formerly Emilio Health, has recently received another round of funding totaling $219 million according to Crunchbase and recently closed $10 Million Extended Series C Financing from Northwell Health.1, 2 At this time, there are sixteen investors and Brightline continues to make headlines in its ability to provide virtual behavioral-health services to children and their families.
Brightline has been able to begin accepting all major insurance plans and partner with employers to help make their services more accessible to families. It appears that Brightline no longer offers speech therapy services to younger children, and instead focusing more on the mental health and behavioral health for children and teens.
Frequently Asked Questions About Brightline Health
What Credentials do Brightline Providers Hold?
Brightline’s therapists are all independently licensed therapists and psychologists that have expertise in delivering child and teen-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Medication prescribers with Brightline are generally independently licensed Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners.
How Am I Matched With a Provider on Brightline?
All matching is done via the Care Matching assessment and based on the areas of support you selected earlier. You can always request to speak 1:1 with your care team if you feel that you have not been able to express yourself fully. Additionally, you will be provided with a bio to read about your coach or therapist.
Can I Choose a New Provider?
While you cannot change providers with the click of a button, you can simply chat with your coach or Member Support about making the request to get matched again. This may feel intimidating for some, but the general goal of any mental health service provider is that you find the care that is the right fit for you.
Who Is Eligible for Medication?
Medication support begins for children as young as six years old after meeting with a Brightline therapist. Any child over six is eligible to help manage symptoms of anxiety, depression, ADHD, and more. You will be able to discuss with your Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner as well as the rest of your care team to see if medication is the best option for your child.
What Medications Are Available on Brightline?
There are a lot of different types of anxiety medication and depression medication and finding the one that works best for your child can take time and patience. To learn more about the types of medications available, request to meet with a therapist and PMHNP-BC to learn more. Depending on the different state regulations, the ability to prescribe controlled substances may vary.
Where Is Medication Management Available?
Brightline can provide medication management to all 50 US states. It is a requirement that your child is enrolled in Brightline therapy to qualify for medication management.
How Does My Child Get Their Prescription?
Your child’s prescriptions will be called into your pharmacy. There are no direct shipping costs or subscription fees via Brightline, however, your local pharmacy may offer delivery services.
Can I use my FSA or HSA Funds?
The ease and flexibility to use an hsa for mental health is dependent on your insurance provider. There may be times in which HSA or FSA are approved for medical products and/or services, such as Brightline, and other times where the insurance company may deny the charge. In general, Brightline Health should be able to accept HSA or FSA as a valid form of payment as long as there is enough money in the account. Keep all receipts for your records to submit to insurance.
How Do I Cancel My Brightline Health Account?
If you do wish to cancel or delete your Brightline Health account I would recommend that you contact Member Support via chat, phone, or email. Brightline phone: (888) 224-7332 and email: [email protected].
Does Brightline Health Offer Refunds?
It appears that services are only paid prior to having the session, versus a monthly payment. While requesting for a refund may be somewhat challenging, you can contact Brightline directly via phone: (888) 224-7332 or email: [email protected] to share your concerns.
Is Brightline Health HIPAA Compliant?
Final Verdict on Brightline Health
Brightline has incredible branding and online presence. With any company that grows rather quickly, it can be common to have some technical and logistical bumps that need to be ironed out. Have patience with Brightline, as their potential and ability to provide wrap-around services to families virtually is crucial, especially as the need for mental health services for children continues to rise. Brightline is definitely a platform that is worth trying.
Summary of Brightline Health
|Cost of Online Therapy||$270 assessment / $225 weekly therapy|
|Is Insurance Accepted?||Partnered with employers and health plans, superbills also available|
|Frequency of Appointments||Weekly|
|Messaging with Therapist Between Appointments||No, contact in between sessions is done via email or through your coach|
|Can You Change Therapists?||Yes, contact Member Support|
|Speed to First Appointment||24 - 48 hours|
|Geographic Coverage||All 50 US states|
|Age Limitations||6 - 17 years old|
|Online Psychiatry Offered||Yes|
|Online Psychiatry Cost||$190 per session, must be enrolled in Brightline Therapy|
For Further Reading
- How to Tell If Your Teen is Benefiting from Therapy
- How to Find a Great Therapist for Your Teen
- How to Support Your Teen After Their Therapy Session
- Does My Teen Need Counseling? 15 Signs to Know
- What to Expect When Sending Your Child or Teen to Counseling
- Social Anxiety in Teens: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment