Cerebral vs Ahead (What is the verdict?)

This article will compare two mental health care phenomena, Cerebral and Ahead. Cerebral, or Get Cerebral is a mental health platform that provides online therapy as well as psychiatry services. Ahead, or Hello Ahead, is also a leader in online psychiatry and online therapy but is more popular for the treatment of ADHD.

Cerebral vs Ahead (What is the verdict?)
Cerebral vs Ahead (What is the verdict?)

The following table will depict the major features and services that are offered by Cerebral and Ahead. It will also show the important differences between these two platforms.

 Feature  Cerebral  Ahead
 Types of services  Therapy and Psychiatry Therapy and Psychiatry
 Pricing  Min 85 USD Min 75 USD
 Payment options   All major credit or debit cards, HSA, FSA All major credit cards,HSA, FSA
 Insurance   Available Unavailable
 Age group  18 years and above 18 years and above

Cerebral

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Pros

  • Cerebral offers several combo plans
  • It can be covered through insurance
  • It has various formats of communication

Cons

  • Cerebral only caters to individuals
  • Medications for ADHD and Bipolar are not available in all states
  • It may be expensive without insurance coverage

Ahead

Pros

  • Ahead offers therapy services and psychiatry
  • It is very convenient
  • It has a wide variety of treatment options

Cons

  • Ahead does not allow insurance coverage
  • It is not available in all the states
  • It can be pretty expensive

About Cerebral

Cerebral was launched in early 2020 and in its short existence has already taken off as the one of the most sought-after mental health platforms today. In Cerebral, individuals who are experiencing mental health issues can seek therapy services as well as psychiatry services for prescription of medications or drugs.

Cerebral vs Ahead (What is the verdict?)

Picture credit: Cerebral

The platform has a large network of licensed and experienced prescribers and therapists who work together in order to bring the very best mental health care to their patients. Cerebral is known for its collaborative care model through which the patient is taken care of by a team of mental health professionals.

Cerebral is also pretty affordable especially as it offers insurance coverage through several in-network providers. The platform also offers its services in various combination plans that patients can choose from according to their needs and requirements. Cerebral also adds to the convenience of its users by allowing home delivery of medications.

About Ahead

Ahead, or Hello Ahead is a mental health care platform that offers psychiatry services as well as counseling and therapy for a variety of mental health conditions, especially ADHD. The platform caters to only adults and is for those who are above the age of 18 years and functions fully online in several states of the US.

Cerebral vs Ahead (What is the verdict?)

Picture credit: Ahead

Ahead is specifically popular for its approach towards the management of ADHD. Here, the patients can avail non-controlled substances as well as controlled substances which are often not available in other similar platforms. The user is provided with a personal prescriber as well as a therapist depending on the type of care being received.

In this platform, users can seek mental health care for other conditions as well. Ahead has an excellent service for mental health conditions like depression and anxiety in the form of medications and counseling. It also encourages holistic wellness by providing counseling for alternative medicine.

 

Best features of Cerebral

Cerebral offers a plethora of features and characteristics that can be beneficial for anyone who has a mental health condition. The very best of these features have been described in the points below.

Cerebral can be used from anywhere

Cerebral can be used from anywhere and everywhere as the platform operates completely online. The digital nature of the platform makes it highly convenient and easy for those who live in remote areas. It can also come in handy for those individuals who have very busy schedules and thus have a hard time creating slots for mental health care visits.

It has different plans to choose from

The platform has mainly three different plans, each with different features for users to choose from. The Medication + Care counseling plan offers exclusive psychiatry services while the Coaching plan offers behavioral coaching features. For those who want both these services, the Medication + Coaching plan is an excellent choice.

It offers great insurance coverage

Insurance coverage in Cerebral is made pretty easy and very efficient due to the large number of in-network providers available here. In Cerebral, the insurance coverage is made possible by Aetna, Cigna, Optum, Humana and many more companies. This can greatly lessen the cost of mental health care and thus make it accessible to a larger sector of the population.

Cerebral vs Ahead (What is the verdict?)

Picture credit: Cerebral

It has a collaborative approach

Cerebral has a unique approach to its mental health care services. The platform follows a collaborative approach in which the patient is taken care of by a team of mental health professionals. The care team consists of the prescriber and/or the behavioral coach as well as the care counselor.

It offers Care counseling

Care counselors are the most integral part of the care team in Cerebral. These care counselors are mental health professionals who may or may not be licensed therapists. These counselors track the progress made by the patient and update other members of the care team. They also train the patients in behavioral techniques and coping strategies that can be highly beneficial to them.

The psychiatry services are excellent here

The psychiatry services in Cerebral are definitely the one of the best in the business. The access to a prescriber is pretty quick in this platform and also allows the user continuous communication with their psychiatrists. The medications are also sent directly to the home of the user in discreet packaging.

Mental health care is received quickly

It is common knowledge that the current mental health care system does not allow easy access to professional help. Individuals often have to wait for months together before they are assigned a suitable therapist or psychiatrist. However, in Cerebral, the users do not have to wait for long periods of time and are connected with a care team in a matter of days.

It is completely HIPAA compliant

The platform is completely HIPAA compliant and very secure which means that the identity and privacy of the user is maintained very strictly in Cerebral. Cerebral has also incorporated strong security measures such as end to end encryptions and multi-step authentications so that confidential data is not leaked.

It can be used for documentation and certificates

Documentation and certificates related to the mental health status of the user can also be availed easily through Cerebral. The prescribers in the platform can be approached to provide certificates related to disabilities or even work leaves. Users may also obtain letters for Emotional Support Animals here. However, this completely depends on the decision of the psychiatrist.

 

It offers many treatment options

There are various treatment options available in Cerebral for mental health conditions. The platform offers non-stimulant medications, antidepressants, SSRIs or SNRIs for the user’s needs and requirements. The prescribers here are also well-experienced to maneuver the course of treatment so that the patient experiences lesser side-effects and more benefits.

Best features of Ahead

Ahead offers many features that can be useful for not only the treatment of ADHD, but also many other mental health conditions. Some of the best features of Ahead have been explored in the points given below.

Ahead allows provides diagnosis as well as treatment

In Ahead, the users can get treatment as well as diagnoses for their mental health conditions without ever leaving the house. The user has to simply fill out a brief questionnaire which will quiz them about their medical history and the different symptoms they are experiencing. The user will then be put in touch with a doctor who will further evaluate and provide a diagnosis.

It makes mental health care easy

The process of seeking mental health care itself becomes easy through Ahead. The platform does not allow in-person sessions, especially after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and everything is conducted online. Thus, the user does not have to step outside at all and can consult licensed doctors from the privacy of their own home.

Ahead offers primary care memberships

The treatments in Ahead are offered session per session or through a membership plan. The user can opt for this and can access their care team at any time for queries and also for emotional support. This membership is particularly helpful for those who are suffering from ADHD and experiencing mild to moderate symptoms.

Costs can be reimbursed here

While the platform is certainly not in-network with any insurance company, the costs of treatment can be reimbursed easily through Ahead. The platform considers itself out of network and thus provides an itemized bill with which the user can get reimbursed. The medications are, however, easily eligible for insurance coverage.

There is continuous access to a care team

In the membership plan, the user has continuous access to the care team through unlimited messaging. Through the unlimited messaging, the user can communicate their problems and queries with their care team. This feature can bring constant emotional support and guidance for the user in the course of their treatment.

Cerebral vs Ahead (What is the verdict?)

Picture credit: Ahead

 

There a range of medications available here

A wide range of medications are available in Ahead for the treatment of ADHD and other mental health conditions. Those who have ADHD can also be prescribed controlled substances like Adderall which is not often unavailable in other tele-medicine platforms. This is because the platform uses specialist doctors who monitor the patient’s progress very closely.

It offers many free resources

There are also plenty of free resources that are available in the blog portion of the platform. These are not just news articles and other informative content, but also essentially health guides full of how-to’s and glossaries of coping strategies and techniques. These can be great for anyone who is seeking mental health care.

It can cater to many mental health conditions

Ahead can be used for many mental health conditions and not only ADHD. The psychiatrists in Ahead are experienced to prescribe medications and also provide therapy/counseling services for those who require it. And thus, the platform can be great for anyone who is battling mental health conditions like anxiety, bipolar disorder or depression.

 

Pricing of Cerebral

The prices of Cerebral mainly depend on the type of plan that the user is going for. The Medication + Care Counseling plan is the cheapest and can be availed at a price of $85 per month. Through this plan, the user can communicate with experienced prescribers and get access to medications.

The Coaching only plan in Cerebral comes at a cost of $145 per month and the platform also offers a discounted rate of $59 for the first month. In this plan, the user has access to a behavioral coach. The Medication + Coaching plan is $195 per month and entitles the user to the best of both worlds.

Pricing of Ahead

In Ahead, the user can choose to consult their doctors and pay for each visit or choose a membership through which they can have continuous access among other perks. Those who want to pay per visit can do so at a cost of $225 of the first appointment and then $160 for each follow-up visit.

Those who are opting for a monthly membership for the primary care services in Ahead, can do so at a cost of $150 for the first month which will also include the evaluation sessions by the specialist. The following months will cost the user $75 per month and will give them continuous access to the care team.

Signing up for Cerebral

To sign up for the services in Cerebral, the user can go to the website or the app and fill out the initial questionnaire given in the platform. Once this has been filled out, the user will be required to schedule an evaluation appointment with a mental health professional who will brief them about the various features and plans that are available in the platform.

The next step is the matching process in which the user is matched with a suitable therapist or prescriber based on their needs and requirements. When the matching has been done, the user can expect to commence their treatment in a few days. The medications will also be dispatched accordingly.

Signing up for Ahead

To avail the mental health care services in Ahead, the user can go to the website and complete the online questionnaire. The platform will initially ask the age of the user as it caters to only those above the age of 18 years. Once the assessment has been completed, an appointment will be created for the user with a provider.

The provider will take the details of the medical history and provide a diagnosis if required. When this step has been completed, the medications prescribed for the user will be dispatched from the platform immediately. The refills are also automatically sent to the residence of the patient.

Tips for using Cerebral

Cerebral is a pretty easy to use platform and has many helpful features to make the experience of the patient a comfortable one. Some tips to help users on this platform have been listed as points in this section.

  • Users have access to unlimited messaging in Cerebral, especially with their care counselor. While these counselors cannot provide therapy, they are well-versed in several coping strategies and behavioral techniques. Ask your care counselor for relevant coping strategies and note them down in a book for future use.
  • Before starting your therapy or coaching sessions in Cerebral, it may be useful to take some time and ask yourself what your goals for these sessions are. These therapy goals need to be realistic and achievable at the same time. You can also communicate these with your coach so that they can maneuver the sessions relevantly.
  • The live sessions with the prescriber and/or your coach can be conducted in a dedicated spot for better effectiveness. Make sure that you are not disturbed here and all your prior commitments are taken care of before your session.

Tips for using Ahead

Ahead is definitely light-years ahead in providing quick and easy mental health care services for anyone who requires it. A few suggestions to improve your experience on this platform have been compiled below.

  • Ahead offers many free resources in its blog. These can be used in many areas of your daily life such as work, career or even relationships. Be sure to check out this side often so that you can learn as much as you can and apply effective strategies to improve your mental health.
  • While many users choose to pay per visit, the membership plan is not only more affordable but also offers plenty of features like unlimited messaging and prioritized appointments for you. If you can afford it in the long run, choose this program.
  • The therapy in Ahead is offered by the psychiatrists themselves and is conducted using live video sessions. To help your provider understand you better, make sure that you are being minutely expressive of your thoughts and feelings. This can positively improve the effectiveness of your therapy.
  • You can also do a test-run of all your devices before your live session so that you are not interrupted by any technological glitches in between. It is also advisable that you invest in high-speed internet to bring better quality to your sessions.

Personal experiences in Cerebral

Users of Cerebral have had mostly positive experiences in the platform. In Apple Apps, Cerebral has a rating of 4.7 stars, while in the Google Play store it has a rating of 4.3 stars. Some of the personal experiences that users have had in Cerebral have been summarized for your viewing below.

  • Most users have appreciated the medication services in Cerebral. The prescribers in the platform have been known to be knowledgeable and empathetic, even helping several users reduce their dosage levels.
  • Many users have complained about the large number of bugs and technical errors that are present in the Cerebral app. They have complained that these bugs make their experience frustrating that is ironic in a mental health care platform.
  • Some users have not liked the care counselor feature in Cerebral, saying that it is often misunderstood for therapy. Care counselors are not licensed therapists but the platform overtly states that they are mental health professionals who can provide emotional support and guidance for the user.
  • A large percentage of the users in Cerebral have simply loved the high levels of convenience that the platform brings to them. All the sessions in Cerebral are conducted online, thus bringing more comfort to the users, especially those who have very busy schedules.

 

Personal experiences in Ahead

Ahead has allowed thousands of users to come to terms with their mental health illness and start their treatments on a positive note. This platform has been especially popular among those who have ADHD or ADHD-like symptoms. A few user experiences in Ahead have been explained in the points below.

  • Most users of Ahead seem to be very happy with the wide range of treatment options available in the platform. This has been particularly great for those battling ADHD, as Adderall is one of the main options in Ahead. 

Adderall is a controlled substance and is thus not easily available otherwise but has been instrumentally beneficial in the management of symptoms of ADHD.

  • The providers in Ahead have also been found to be highly empathetic and professional in dealing with various mental health conditions, including those like ADHD. Users have found these medical professionals to be non-judgmental as well as knowledgeable at the same time.
  • However, many users of Ahead have constantly pointed out to the fact that the treatment here can be a lot pricier than other platforms. Ahead does not offer any insurance coverage and only provides a superbill for reimbursement. This has been found to be financially straining on those who are seeking mental health care here.

Conclusion

Cerebral as well as Ahead can be used for the treatment of any mental health illness that does not fall under the high-risk category. In Cerebral, the user has access to a number of plans that include therapy as well as psychiatry services. These features are also available in Ahead, but the platform has been widely popular only for the management of ADHD.

Cerebral offers its users insurance coverage through which the costs of the mental health care services in the platform can be considerably lesser than traditional mental health services. The therapy and psychiatry services here are both provided by licensed and certified professionals who are part of the care team along with the care counselor.

Ahead provides psychiatry services as well as therapy/counseling for those who require it. However, the therapy services are provided by the psychiatrists themselves. The platform does not allow insurance coverage but has been found to be adequate in affordability especially considering the fast-tracked mental health care provided here.

BetterHelp:  A Better Alternative

If you are on the prowl for an amazing platform that offers superb mental health services, we would highly recommend BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers individual therapy services, couples therapy services and even therapy for teenagers. Furthermore, the platform also provides group therapy sessions that are conducted about once a week.

The subscription to BetterHelp is pretty affordable and while there is no insurance coverage here, the platform provides financial assistance to those who are unemployed, disabled and even those who have veteran status. The financial assistance needs to be renewed every three months and can reduce the costs of therapy by up to 25 per cent.

 

Frequently asked questions:

How much does Ahead cost?

Ahead can vary in its prices depending on the route that the user wants to take. If they want to pay per session, they can do so with $225 for the first appointment and then pay $160 for the following sessions. Users can also opt for the membership plan which costs them $159 for the first month and $75 for the following months.

Does Ahead work in Texas?

Yes, Ahead works in Texas as well as many other states in the US.

Does Ahead have an app?

No, Ahead does not have a mobile app currently. Those who want to use the platform can do so through any type of web browser.

Can you cancel Cerebral anytime?

Yes, you can cancel Cerebral at any time by just sending an email request to the customer support team of the platform.

How do I get my Cerebral records?

For documentation and letters concerning your mental health status, all you need to do is to file a request in the chat feature of your Cerebral profile or by sending an email to the customer support team.

Who started Get Cerebral?

Get Cerebral or simply Cerebral was started by Kyle Robertson in early 2020 as a solution for the present struggling mental health care system.

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Citations

https://www.forbes.com/profile/kyle-robertson/
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/cerebral
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-10/mental-health-startup-cerebral-nabs-1-2-billion-valuation
https://pitchbook.com/profiles/company/433351-45
https://www.cbinsights.com/company/cerebral
https://kylerobertson41.medium.com/why-we-launched-cerebral-a-mental-health-telemedicine-company-f6593ff22f2a
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/hello-ahead
https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2021/09/14/2296766/0/en/Digital-Mental-Healthcare-Provider-Ahead-Launches-New-Medication-Management-Service-and-Expands-Provider-Network.html
https://www.zoominfo.com/c/ahead/482374134

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