In the recent, a wide number of people are seen suffering from some or the other kind of mental or psychological disabilities. Some of the commonest types of metal or psychological troubles people suffer from are anxiety, depression, loneliness, social phobia, cognitive decline, stress-related issues, and many more. Dealing with these issues naturally is very important to get an effective cure.
To cure many of these above-mentioned mental and psychological disabilities, psychotherapists often use the tactic of pet therapy. ‘Pet therapy is a method of curing the emotional, psychological, or mental disabilities of individuals with the help of animals’. Often these animals are termed or referred as ‘emotional support animals’.
An emotional support animal can help you with many different types of emotional and mental challenges. If you notice, you can found that the patients of a particular psychological illness respond more positively when his/her pet is around him/her than when he/she is surrounded by his/her family members or near ones. Noticing this fact, the psychologist has concluded that animals impact human brain, mind, and emotions distinctively. They can effectively help deal with many kinds of emotional or psychological disabilities.
To obtain a brief insight about the importance of emotional support animal and ESA letter, below a brief overview is provided.
What Is an Emotional Support Animal?
An emotional support animal or ESA is any animal that helps someone with psychiatric or mental issues to lead a more fulfilling and normal life. While these animals do not need any specific training, they are much more than pets. These animals provide you with therapeutic advantages based on companionship. While dogs and cats are the most common types of emotional support animal, any species that can be kept as a pet can be an emotional support animal.
What Rights Does the Emotional Support Animal Poses?
Emotional support animals are not service animals. They provide natural healing through love, care, companionship and are not trained in any manner. Most of the times, regardless the way emotional support animals serve you, they are not allowed in every public place. However, landlords must make reasonable accommodations to allow you to have an emotional support animal. Reasonable accommodation means that your request can be denied if it places an undue financial burden on the housing provider, or if it is determined to be dangerous. This can also include that if your animal is making it impossible for others to live there, you can be asked to leave.
Here is when the importance of the ESA letter comes in. The ESA letters are the only source of legal identity for the emotional support animals and are the only means of proof with the help of which one can easily carry his/her emotional support animal everywhere they go. In practical terms the ESA letter secures the rights of the emotional support animals. Laws also allow emotional support animals to fly in the cabin with their owners in most cases.
Who Qualifies for an Emotional Support Animal?
Individuals with genuine or proven medical psychological or mental illness qualify for an emotional support animal. This includes PTSD, anxiety disorder, phobias, autism, and depression. If you have a mental or psychiatric disability, you can qualify for an emotional support animal. Also the ESA letter is provided to individuals, who have medically proven psychological and mental disabilities.
An emotional support animal can only be prescribed by a licensed medical or psychiatric professional.
What Documentation Is needed for an Emotional Support Animal?
In this section of the article, the importance and need of ESA letters will be elaborated in brief.
You will require proper documentation to have your animal classified as an emotional support animal. If you intend to travel with your animal, you will require an ESA letter. You can obtain an ESA letter from your doctor or a mental health professional. Your physician will determine, if you have a legitimate requirement for an emotional support animal and if your animal helps alleviate your condition.
Your ESA letter requires to be on a letterhead or RX paper and while it needs to specify that you need an emotional support animal as a treatment for your psychological or emotional disability. The disability does not need to be identified on the letter because of HIPPA rights.
If you have specific questions or feel like you have been unjustly denied your housing for your need of an emotional support animal, contact your nearest housing and urban development (HUD) office.
Emotional support animals are shown to lower stress levels and help to alleviate the symptoms of mental and psychiatric conditions.
You have the right to a happy an independent life, and an emotional support animal can help you achieve it!!