Review: Why is the next big thing in virtual psychiatry

Medically reviewed by:
Dr. Steve Kim, MD

About Dr. Steve Kim, MD

Physician Advisor

Dr. Kim received his BA in Human Biology at Stanford University, before receiving his M.D. degree (Primary Care Track) from UC Davis School of Medicine in 1989. Dr. Kim completed his Internship & Residency in Family Practice from Glendale Adventist Hospital and is Board-Certified in Family Medicine via the American Board of Family Medicine. He has re-certified multiple times; and is currently Board-Certified through December 2030. He has served as Sr Medical Editor for Healthline, and has held faculty appointments at Stanford & UCSF medical schools. He is also a decorated, retired Flight Surgeon from the US Air Force Reserves.

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 25% of Americans have a mental illness and nearly 50% of Americans will develop at least one mental illness in their lifetime, but let’s be honest, those numbers are probably too low. 

Studies show that obesity, mood disorders, and heart diseases are related to stress, among many other diseases. One of the leading health problems in the US involves how we react to stress, anxiety, and depression, and the stigma attached to mental health issues causes many people to not get the help they need.

The good news is study after study has proven that telehealth for mental health treatment is effective. That’s where Minded comes in. Minded provides super affordable psychiatric care in the comfort of your home.

Table of Contents

What is Minded? 🧠

an advertisement from minded showing a prescription bottle
source: Minded

While medical telehealth services have been accessible for decades, the field is expanding to include virtual mental health care. Minded is one example of a telepsychiatry service that provides convenient online sessions with the same standard of treatment as in-person appointments.

How does Minded maintain such high standards? To begin, it provides monthly video sessions, medication, and unlimited messaging with licensed nurses. Minded’s mental health care can be a lifeline for those in rural areas and other geographic areas where there aren’t enough options or availability for psychiatry, therapy, and/or medication management services. This is consistent with the observation that online service prices are often lower than those charged by a psychiatrist’s office.

What is Minded’s treatment approach for mental disorders?

Before delving into Minded’s treatment approach, let’s take a quick look at the mental health conditions that they treat. Because it really does feel like they support it all. 

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Sleep
  • Eating Disorders
  • Personality Disorders
  • Psychosis/Schizophrenia
  • Trauma (PTSD)
graphic from minded showing different pills and medications
source: Minded

Minded treats a full spectrum of mental health conditions and can prescribe a wide range of mental health medications. Psychiatrists and nurse practitioners at Minded carefully diagnose your condition and then create a treatment plan for you.

Minded offers a wide range of drug types. A detailed list of drugs available can be found on their website. Minded treats depression and anxiety using a combination of SSRIs and SNRIs. SSRIs are often used to treat depression and work by inhibiting serotonin reuptake. This increases serotonin neurotransmitters in the brain, which assist control mood. SNRIs vary in that they affect both serotonin and norepinephrine levels, which can help to alleviate depression and anxiety symptoms.

Despite the presence of controlled medications on the above list, Minded does not prescribe controlled medications in all states where they operate. They will not prescribe controlled medications unless you can show proof of a prior prescription for the controlled medication from your state’s prescription monitoring program.

Examples of controlled medications include:

  • Adderall for ADHD
  • Xanax and Valium for anxiety
  • Lunesta and Ambien for insomnia

To summarize, Minded’s sole focus is on medication and provides the following services:

  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • Personalized medication plans
  • Prescriptions and refills
  • Monthly follow-ups and medication adjustment

What sets Minded apart from traditional (in-person) psychiatric clinics?

While Minded’s telepsychiatry services can benefit those who face additional obstacles in attending face-to-face appointments, such as the disabled or old, it also benefits all patients by preventing delays in care. Between monthly meetings with a psychiatrist, Minded provides unlimited messages with qualified nurses to answer any questions regarding your medicine or treatment.

a screenshot of a text conversion that a patient is having with a minded psychiatrist
source: Minded

Minded also provides lower charges because of the lower overhead costs of telemedicine. More information on the cost discrepancies can be found in the chart below.

Cost Comparison: Minded vs In-Person Psychiatrist vs Primary Care Physician

Minded logo

Average Psychiatrist Visit

Average Primary Care Visit

$95 for first month
Accepts insurance?
FSA/HSA eligible?
Do you see a psychiatrist with every visit?Sometimes
Is therapy available?Sometimes
Do you get unlimited messages with registered nurses?

¹The data on the average psychiatrist appointment and the average primary care physician visit is provided by The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality  (AHRQ) . These figures represent the cost without insurance.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), many mental health practitioners do not accept health insurance. Even if a mental health provider accepts insurance, your policy may not cover them, and even if the mental health provider accepts your policy, you must still consider co-pays and deductibles.

Minded competes favorably on price, starting at $95 for the first month and $45 per month thereafter. Beginning in 2023, Minded will start to accept insurance. In addition, the monthly fee includes unlimited messaging. 

Therapy vs Medication for anxiety/depression – Does Minded offer therapy?

a screenshot from minded's website
source: Minded

There is no single treatment that can alleviate depression, whether it be an antidepressant pill or a type of talk therapy.

Some studies suggest that combining medications and treatment improves your odds of finding relief, while others demonstrate that antidepressant medication is marginally more effective than cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in reducing overall depression severity in patients.

Minded, on the other hand, strives to focus all of their efforts on medication management, because they know firsthand that people who are stable on their prescriptions for their mental health already dedicate a substantial amount of money and time to their betterment. They know that this involves visits to their psychiatrist once every 30-90 days for a prescription refill (which is beneficial through the involvement of a third party), as well as visits to their pharmacy once a month to pick up their medications. 

Paying hundreds of dollars for hour-long appointments makes sense if they help a person find the treatment that helps them feel better. But spending hundreds of dollars for a five-minute check-in, on the other hand, may seem superfluous and expensive.

As a result, Minded is trying to repair the existing broken approach to managing mental health medication through their telepsychiatry services, which integrate seamlessly into one’s life. 

Does Minded deliver meds to your door?

Minded no longer delivers prescription medication. Instead, their medical staff writes a prescription to whichever pharmacy you prefer, and you can pick it up there. For many patients out there, this can actually be preferable, though. With companies like Mark Cuban’s Low Cost Drugs, Capsule, and Amazon, you can still get prescriptions delivered to you for super cheap.  

Minded is also only currently available to anyone over 18 living in the following states, but they are continually growing and adding new states:

  • California
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Virginia

How much does Minded cost?

Minded’s services are $95 for the first month and $45 thereafter. The only additional expenses are for medications.

Your prescription is shipped for free; however, the medication itself costs $8 per medication per month, in addition to your $45 monthly membership fee.

Minded services are not currently covered by health insurance (until the beginning of 2023), however, the platform is FSA/HSA qualified. Minded services are also not covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

You can, however, utilize your insurance to cover the cost of your prescribed medication if it is delivered straight to your pharmacy.

What does the Minded experience actually look like?

a screenshot from Minded's signup questionnaire
source: Minded

Now that we have rifled through Minded’s services in-depth, if you’re interested in giving them a try, here’s how to get started with just a few simple steps:

To use Minded, you must complete an online evaluation to see whether Minded is right for you. This questionnaire is intended to screen out those who are suicidal, have bipolar disorders, or suffer from schizophrenia and cannot be treated by Minded’s services.

After that, you must complete a 4-5 minute mental health assessment. Minded uses industry-standard questionnaires such as the PHQ-9 and GAD-7 to screen, diagnose, and monitor mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. These tests establish your problem’s severity and determine whether a medication treatment is appropriate for you.

Finally, Minded requires a video appointment with a psychiatrist, with most sessions available within a week. Your doctor will ask the same questions about your symptoms, medical history, allergies, and current medications that you’d be asked if you were at any clinic. If your case fits within the bounds of what an online psychiatrist can prescribe, you may receive your prescription soon after your initial consultation.

Minded alternatives: How does it compare to Cerebral and Brightside Health?

Looking at the chart below, it is clear that Minded is the most competitively priced option. Minded also has a clear edge over Cerebral and Brightside Health in that they can administer controlled drugs such as Adderall, but only with documentation of a previous prescription.

Minded logo Cerebral logoBrightside logo

Brand Comparison: Minded vs Cerebral vs Brightside




Medication plan pricing$45/mo
Medication billed separately (and can therefore be covered by insurance)
$95 for first month
Additional plans and their pricingN / A$195/mo for medication and therapy
$145/mo for therapy
$349/mo for therapy and medication
$299/mo for therapy
Prescribes controlled medications?
Insurance accepted?
FSA/HSA eligible?
Free shipping of medications?
Therapy available?
Unlimited messaging with psychiatrist/therapist/counselor
Personalized medication plan?
# of states supported7 (listed below)50 (therapy in 29)50

It’s definitely worth noting, though, that compared to Cerebral (read our Cerebral review here) and Brightside (read our Brightside review here), Minded does have some clear drawbacks.

For starters, the number of states that Minded supports is severely limited when compared to Brightside’s services in all 50 states. That list, btw, is: California, Florida, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Texas. But we expect this to grow fairly rapidly.

Another disadvantage is the absence of supplementary plans such as anxiety and depression therapy. This is an important consideration because combining medication with talk therapy is proven to result in more effective progress in your mental health care journey and greatly reduce your odds of remission.

Minded customer reviews: Are they satisfied with their telepsychiatry services?

3.8 / 5 stars (430 Trustpilot reviews)

Minded appears to deliver on its promises, as evidenced by their Trustpilot rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars.

Because it is a new platform, it may need to smooth off some rough edges, but this is nothing that time cannot fix. The majority of customer reviews are excellent, although some concerns have emerged about minor issues (like some video conference issues on Zoom).

tl;dr – Is Minded worth trying for virtual psychiatric care?

Simply put, if you don’t need a doctor but want to avoid going to the pharmacy, consider using a service like Minded. Minded is not only less expensive, but it also offers unlimited messaging with registered nurses, who are only a message away for your restless queries. 

If you’re someone who already has a therapist and are looking for additional ways to address your mental health, Minded is an excellent choice. And if you’re someone who doesn’t have a therapist but finds that combination appealing, check out some of our other reviews of therapy-only online providers to combine with Minded’s services. This technique allows for a more personalized treatment plan for you that may be less expensive.

While Minded’s geographic accessibility is severely constrained in comparison to its competitors, we believe that their capacity to give controlled medication, even with proof of prior prescription, compensates for this shortcoming. We definitely see that they’re coming up in the ranks as far as providing to a wider variety of locations and think that Minded is very much worth trying if you’re looking for a treatment to address your mental health.