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Frequently Asked Questions

We’re here to answer your questions.

About Prairie Health

Prairie is a mental health subscription that provides members with personalized treatment, medication management and ongoing support for one flat monthly fee.
Prairie Health is available in California to adults (age 18 or older) with a known or suspected mental health condition like depression or anxiety.

If you have been diagnosed with other mental health conditions, experience suicidal ideation, or have a long history of trying various medications for your mental health, Prairie Health may not be the best fit for you. For questions about your specific situation, contact us using the form on the lower right corner of this page.

We will be expanding to more states and supporting additional conditions over time, so check back frequently.
Your monthly fee covers the following:
•   Your Welcome Box, which includes your genetic test
•   Regular appointments with a psychiatrist
•   Monthly appointments with a Care Partner
•   Unlimited messaging with a Care Partner
•   Medication delivered to you.

If your psychiatrist determines medication is right for you, your copay covers the cost of medication. All packages shipped from Prairie (medication, welcome kit, etc.) are delivered in discreet packaging.

See the Getting Started section for more details.
Prairie’s founding team met as students at Stanford through a shared vision to make mental healthcare more accessible and effective, driven by their own mental health struggles and the experiences of their loved ones.

In particular, Prairie Health was started because the medication experience is such a key part of treatment for many people, but the one-size-fits-all approach in which medications are often prescribed many times left loved ones worse off than before treatment began.

Prairie is committed to reducing all obstacles to give you the best opportunity to feel better.
Different genes mean different responses to medication. Prairie conducts genetic testing via a spit sample in order to help psychiatrists personalize dosing decisions and avoid medications your body will not process well. By doing so, we minimize potentially serious side effects and ensure your care journey is as smooth as possible. To learn more about the evidence, read our article Genetic Testing With Prairie. Your privacy comes first, so we never use your genetic information for any other purpose.
We firmly believe in evidence-based practices, so our genetic testing adheres to well-supported clinical evidence. Specifically, we provide psychiatrists with information to make dosing decisions and to rule out medications, in line with recommendations by the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP), the College of American Pathologists (CAP), and the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium (CPIC).

Prairie does not predict what specific medication(s) will be most effective using genetic testing, since clinical evidence is still limited in that area.
Prairie is committed to providing you the best possible care, which means we only work with the most qualified and experienced mental health specialists: psychiatrists.

While both general practitioners like primary care doctors and psychiatrists are medical doctors, psychiatrists receive an additional 4 years of specialized training in psychiatry after completing medical school. In addition, psychiatrists only see psychiatric cases, whereas other practitioners see many types of patients, increasing psychiatrists’ ability to provide the best possible care.

All psychiatrists working with Prairie are certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurobiology (ABPN).
A Care Partner is a mental health professional who acts as your primary touchpoint throughout your care journey. One of your first steps after joining Prairie is to be matched with your dedicated Care Partner.

Care Partners can provide the following care:
•   Assess and make a clinical evaluation of your mental health and mental health conditions.
•   Make a recommendation on the best course of treatment.
•   Perform psychosocial techniques to help relieve anxiety and depression.
•   Answer questions about your medication in collaboration with your physician.

While Care Partners are highly-trained and able to provide proactive and reactive mental health support, they are not meant to serve as or replace your therapist. If you are interested in connecting with a therapist, discuss this with your Care Partner.
Your Care Partner is available for monthly appointments over video or phone to provide more in-depth support in your mental health journey.

Care Partners are also available via unlimited messaging daily for anything that comes up in between appointments with your care team. Your Care Partner will respond within 3 hours during business days from 9am to 9pm PST and by the end of the day on weekends.

Finally, your Care Partner will provide regular proactive support, sharing resources personalized to you and checking in on how you are doing.
Your safety is very important to us. If you are in emotional distress or thinking about harming yourself at any point, please use these resources:

1. Visit: If you are having a medical or mental health emergency, call 911 or go to your local emergency department.

2. Text: The Crisis Text Line provides free, 24-hour, confidential help. Text ‘HOME’ to 741-741 to connect with a counselor immediately.

3. Call: You can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK to talk with a live counselor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

There is always help available. We recommend also reaching out to a family member or friend to let them know that you are having these thoughts and ask for help and support.

Getting Started

You will match and schedule time with your Care Partner.

1. Your Care Partner will conduct an intake call to get to know you better.
2. We will ship you your Welcome Box, which includes your genetic test. Send us back your spit sample.
3. You will meet with your psychiatrist to discuss treatment goals and get a diagnosis (if needed).
4. Please allow up to two weeks to receive your genetic testing results. We'll keep you posted.
5. You will meet with your psychiatrist to discuss specific medication options
6. You will continue to meet with your Care Partner and psychiatrist in subsequent months.
Your Care Partner’s goal for the first meeting is to get to know you, ensure Prairie is a good fit and coordinate next steps. Your Care Partner will learn about your mental health history, talk through your assessment results and understand your goals for joining Prairie. In addition, your Care Partner will answer questions you have about Prairie and talk through timelines for your Welcome Box and next appointments.
No additional software is required for Prairie. You can access all of Prairie's features via your browser on your phone or computer, including connecting with your psychiatrist and messaging your Care Partner. If you have a camera on your device, we recommend using it so Prairie’s care team can build a better connection with you remotely.

Medication

Should your psychiatrist decide to prescribe medication, we offer a wide range of FDA-approved, non-controlled medications including SSRIs, NDRIs, SNRIs, and Alpha-Agonists.

  See the list of medications we prescribe

Yes. Generic medications go through a strict approval process through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which ensures that they provide the same benefits as their brand-name counterparts and are equally safe. They have the exact same active ingredients, which ensures their equal effectiveness, quality, and safety. The size and color of generic medications may be different, but this doesn’t affect how they work.

The biggest difference is that they are dramatically cheaper, so we can pass along this savings to you and make your membership more affordable. For more information about generics, check out this information from the FDA.
You can ask your Care Partner any questions about your medication. Care Partners are trained mental health professionals with medication management experience, so they will be able to answer many questions directly. For more difficult questions and situations, your Care Partner will consult with your psychiatrist on your behalf, or you can ask your psychiatrist directly during your next scheduled appointment.
If appropriate, your provider will change your prescription. Changing medications and dosage can be part of finding the right treatment in mental health care, though you can expect this less often with Prairie because of our personalized treatment approach. Your copay is $15 per medication, so you will only pay more if your psychiatrist prescribes additional medications. Your psychiatrist’s time is already included in your ongoing care membership.
If you select to use Prairie’s pharmacy partner, we’ll deliver your medication before your previous prescription runs out. We use USPS First Class mail to securely deliver your medication.

Orders & Payment

Prairie does not accept health insurance at this time, including Medicare and Medicaid. Members are solely responsible for payment.
You will be charged your first month’s fee upon signup, either over the phone or through our website. Your membership officially begins when we ship your Welcome Box to you (which includes the genetic test); your card will be charged monthly based on that shipping date.
To cancel your Prairie membership, please contact your Care Partner or email inquiry@prairiehealth.co. Our refund guidelines are outlined in the support page of our website.
Please reach out to your Care Partner or inquiry@prairiehealth.co to cancel or reschedule your appointment with your psychiatrist. To respect your psychiatrist’s time, we request that you cancel or reschedule your appointment at least 24 hours in advance. Cancellations or rescheduling less than 24 hours prior to your monthly psychiatrist call will be charged $25. We charge this nominal fee to ensure your psychiatrist’s time is spent focusing on patients.
Please reach out to your Care Partner or contact inquiry@prairiehealth.co and we’ll work with you to figure out what happened.

Privacy & Data

Prairie does not sell your data to any third parties whatsoever. Providing personalized care using health and genetic information requires your trust - we take that responsibility very seriously. Please read our Privacy Policy to learn more.

741-741

If you’re in emotional distress, text HOME to connect with a counselor immediately.

911

If you’re having a medical or mental health emergency, call 911 or go to your local ER.