Who could describe a message of an emotional support animal?
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for managing symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental illnesses. Some seek treatment while others use prescribed medication from their family doctor. However, others resort to the ancient comfort of a man’s best friend. A canine companion is often an excellent emotional support animal through unconditional love, support, and comfort. Studies show that dogs can stimulate increases in oxytocin and dopamine to humans, which are linked to positive emotions and bonding.
Emotional support animals also have some rights and legal protections to help their owners. In the United States, federal laws prohibit discrimination based on disability. The Fair Housing Act guarantees that a landlord cannot deprive an ESA owner of housing. The Air Carrier Access Act allows travelers to fly with their emotion-supporting animals without pet charges and helps provide guidance to owners regarding size restrictions.
To take advantage of these protections, it is not sufficient to say that your dog is an emotional support animal. There is a formal emotional support animal letter that you need to secure to prove that the pet helps manage your mental state. Only who can help you with an ESA letter? Who could describe a message of an emotional support animal? What do you want to know before you ask? This is what we cover here.
Who can write ESA messages?
Certified professionals can authorize an emotional support animal letter. Any licensed mental health professional can write ESA letters and state that the pet is part of your treatment plan. The complete list of who can write ESA letters includes:
- Primary Care Physician
- A licensed mental health professional (including a psychologist, therapist, or psychiatrist)
- A licensed therapist
- Licensed GP
Doctors and ESA letters
A primary care physician or family doctor can issue a letter of emotional support for an animal as long as they are licensed. If you have a family doctor helping with your health condition, you can consult with him about the advisability of an emotional support animal. This is a good option for people who do not want to reveal their needs to strangers but still need help.
It is important to note that just because one thinks they qualify for ESA does not automatically mean that they will receive a prescription. An in-depth analysis of a person’s psychological background is performed and it is up to the doctor or mental health professional to determine whether a person qualifies for a prescription from the ESA.
Therapists and ESA Messages
A licensed therapist is someone who helps patients develop cognitive skills to manage symptoms. Therapists are also able to provide the necessary documentation for an animal’s emotional support. Quite a few healthcare professionals can help, including psychiatrists, clinical social workers, mental health counselors, and psychologists. A professional does not need to obtain a license. Otherwise, the message will be invalid and will not be accepted. Ensure that the mental health professional you schedule an appointment with is licensed to describe an emotional support animal’s speech before the session begins.
If you are seeing a current therapist, bring him or her with them and see if it is a valid option for your treatment plan. If not, search the Internet to find a therapist in your area. You can also consider a remote health counseling and contact an online therapist for a virtual session. As always, sites that automatically guarantee an ESA recipe are not valid and should be avoided.
ESA letter request
When you approach a fully licensed select professional or doctor to prescribe you an emotional support animal letter, you need to know what to ask for. Your family doctor or certified specialist will examine your condition, ascertain your needs, and determine if you need animal-assisted treatment to manage symptoms. This may be an easy conversation if you have an established relationship with your family doctor or therapist. If you don’t, you may need a little thought and planning before you dive in. Try these tips to prepare for that conversation.
Make sure you understand what you are asking for. The therapy animal opens up to you the ESA laws that you need to understand. You also want to know how pet therapy works and whether it would be beneficial for you. Take the time to check out the articles and videos to assess how to help a supportive dog or cat. How can this supportive animal make your life better?
Also, you are responsible for pet ownership. How do you return the favor and improve the pet’s life? Some people ask about this ESA letter after they already have a pet, but others look for the right animal after determining their need with a professional. Think carefully about your ability to commit to a pet just as you would ask your pet to commit to you.
If this is your first visit to this professional, you need to submit the necessary medical reports to assess your condition fairly. Medical reports and medical history help verify your condition and needs. You can always request these records from your family doctor. Without these documents, a professional will not write an ESA letter for you.
ESA qualification requirements
Emotional support animals aren’t necessary for every situation, and they don’t help some. Is your case eligible? Some of the qualifying conditions include attention deficit disorder, depression, anxiety, or motor skill disorder. The letter should clearly define and clarify your situation according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Animal Service and ESA
Please note that a service animal is not the same as an emotional support animal. The purpose of an emotional support animal is to act as a source of support and comfort for therapeutic purposes. Service animals undergo training to serve specific purposes, usually physical disabilities. Emotional support animals don’t have the same accessibility as a service animal, so don’t expect to bring them to the grocery store or anywhere else.
ESA and Pets
It is also important not to confuse emotional support animals with pets. The role of the two is completely different, and legal protections are not the same. Pet is what you get for a hugging companion or family friend. You are emotionally attached, but this is not for the treatment. Pets are not covered by ESA regulations. ESAs are part of your treatment and will be ‘prescribed’ as necessary by a mental health professional or family doctor.
Be open to discussion
Opening up about your mental health can be difficult. You need to have an open and honest discussion with your family doctor or other professionals when it comes to an emotional support animal. How will your support dog help with symptoms? Why do you need to treat pests? Answers to these questions will help your therapist or family doctor send you their ESA letter.
Make sure you are asking for this letter for the right reasons. If you just want to travel with your pet and avoid the extra charges, don’t ask for this letter. If you need to extend your treatment through an animal, have an ESA letter. If your cat or dog plays a primary and supportive role while battling your mental illness, get an ESA letter.
What do ESA messages need?
There is no federal model when it comes to registering emotional support animals. In fact, registering your animal as an ESA online doesn’t meet the law enough either. A prescription letter from a mental health professional with the following items is required to be valid:
- Release Date
- Written on official paper for the therapist
- Diagnosis according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
- Name and signature of the therapist/doctor
- Therapist/physician license numbers, issue status, and date of issue
- Your name and pet details (if applicable)
The letter can also address details as you can better benefit from pet therapy. For example, a family doctor may recommend travel or consider an animal necessary to control symptoms in the workplace.