Among the treatment prescribed for emotional disorders, one option which we don’t hear often is getting an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). Having an animal boosts your emotional health and helps you sleep better – the two most common problems associated with emotional disorders. They are different from service dogs and have different legal rights.
With so many types of assistance dogs in the picture like service dogs, therapy dogs, seizure dogs etc you may have questions about what qualifies as an Emotional Support Animal. Every type of assistance dog serves a different purpose.
Visit the website of ‘Support Pets’ to gain more information on ESAs. They are happy to help with your queries. If they find you eligible to apply for an ESA request, they will assist in handling the process.
Begin by asking yourself if you need an ESA:
Few of the conditions that qualify a person for getting an ESA are:
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Anxiety Disorder
- Intellectual Disability
Do you think petting a dog when you are feeling anxious would help with calming your nerves? A depressed person stays unmotivated and prefers to stay in bed all day. With a dog in the picture, he/she will take efforts to take the dog for walks and feed the dog thereby diverting themselves. Having an ESA leaves you with a purpose.
Get a mental health diagnosis:
You need to get assessed from a certified mental health practitioner. After confirming that you have a particular disorder, the psychologist/therapist/psychiatrist hands you a recommendation letter. The letter highlights that your condition calls for an ESA. The ESA letter is valid only for a year. After the letter’s expiry, get it renewed.
Details of an ESA letter:
According to The Fair Housing Act, an animal qualifies as an ESA if a licensed mental health practitioner provides an ESA letter. The letter includes:
- An official letterhead
- Name of the licensed mental health practitioner
- License type and license number of the mental health practitioner
- Details on the need for support animal
- Type of animal
- Date of issue
Benefits of acquiring ESA certification:
- Access to apartment housing though there is a no-pets policy
- Landlord can’t charge pet deposits
- Free domestic airline travel. You don’t have to purchase a ticket to have your ESA in the cabin
ESAs give emotional support and unconditional love. If you think having an ESA would be beneficial for you, kick start the process.