Millions of people in the United States and around the world are grappling with emotional issues, which affect their day-to-day lives. Whether it is stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, or certain phobias, the number of people trying to combat mental health disorders is rising. While there are many treatments available for them, one of the most popular therapies recently has been the use of an emotional support animal (ESA). Read on to learn more and what all you need to obtain approval for an emotional support animal.
What Is An Emotional Support Animal?
While all pets provide an emotional connection with their owner, emotional support animals (ESA’s) provide companionship and comfort to people with psychiatric disabilities or other mental impairments.
An emotional support animal, usually a dog, can help ease or mitigate the symptoms of an emotional disability. They can help a person deal with challenges that may otherwise compromise their quality of life. However, not all communities, apartments, or landlords allow pets on their premises owing to several reasons. As mentioned at https://americanservicepets.com/, getting approved for an ESA enables these lovable, furry friends to accompany you to places that have an explicit no-pet policy. You may even travel with them on a plane free of any added fees.
How Does One Qualify For An ESA?
Unlike a service animal trained for a specific disability, an emotional support animal does not require any special training nor needs to be registered legally. That means that if you already own a pet, you can get it certified as an ESA if you have an emotional disability.
However, you will require a signed letter or a prescription from a psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, or any other certified mental health professional stating that you are diagnosed with a mental health condition. People with mental disorders seeking treatment through medications, therapy, or counseling, whose symptoms are alleviated by owning an animal are eligible to qualify for an ESA letter. The letter will help you circumvent specific rules and regulations that would otherwise prohibit your animal from accompanying you.
What The ESA Letter Must Contain
The letter must include the mental health professional’s letterhead, stating that you are their patient and suffer from a mental disability. Accordingly, they must explain that the animal in question helps you cope with your condition and live a complete lifestyle. Make sure that they include their license type, license number, and the date it was issued. Moreover, it must also have the date the ESA letter was issued and the sign of the healthcare professional who issued the letter.
Note: With the demand for ESA’s on the rise, it is essential to be aware of many fraudulent agencies that have taken advantage of this process. You may click here to learn more about this trend and how to avoid being a victim of an ESA scam.
Know Your Rights
To conclude, it is important to note that your ESA rights are protected by law under the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act, recognizing the purpose of an ESA. Knowing that you are legally covered can come in handy when you come across not so understanding businesses, workplaces, or air carriers, denying you entry on their premises with an ESA.