An emotional support animal letter is the authorized document signed by a licensed mental health specialist to make a specific animal an emotional support animal with benefits.
Let’s get into the core of the ESA and its benefits.
What’s an ESA Letter
It’s equivalent to a prescription from a medical doctor – it advises a legal treatment for a specific condition and has the benefits of emotional support animals for anxiety. In this matter, the “treatment” is your ESA. This letter is about how your dog evolved to being certified as an emotional support animal. It would benefit if you considered a few critical criteria to ensure that your emotional support animal letter meets the requirements laid out by federal law.
- Live Talks Over The Phone: That mental health professional must evaluate you, typically over a video call, a phone call, or in person, and determine whether you have a mental health disability (mild, moderate, or severe) and the benefits of emotional support animals for your symptoms.
- Licensed Mental Health Professionals: You must speak with a mental health professional licensed in your state to obtain your pet certified as an emotional support animal.
- Letters Meet HUD Criteria: If you acquire approval, you’ll get an ESA letter from your licensed mental health professional, and it must include all the following criteria:
- License knowledge from your mental health professional
- Official letterhead
- Business & contact info
- Specifically, citing that you have decided to hold a mental health disability that benefits from maintaining an emotional support animal.
There are many not entirely reputable websites, so you must work with a compliant service.
- Emotional support animals are not identical to service animals, with additional qualifications and training recognized by the ADA.
- Emotional support animals don’t have unique training, but they can deliver comfort and stress relief.
- Living with anxiety disorders, depression, PTSD, or bipolar disorder may qualify you for ESA benefits.
- A mental health professional can compose a letter stating your need for an ESA based on your symptoms.
- Animals can provide excellent companionship, but they can also be qualified to do more for their owners. Emotional support animals (ESAs) can deliver therapeutic benefits if you live with a mental health condition.
Emotional support animals, ESA is not officially trained to accomplish any specific task for their owners. Instead, they can comfort people dealing with mental health symptoms and emotional concerns ranging from depression and anxiety to loneliness. On the other hand, service animals are recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As a result, owners can bring them into stores, hotels, restaurants, and airplanes — but the ADA does not unfold these benefits to ESAs.
Qualify to get the Benefits Of Having an Emotional Support Animal
The most typical ESAs are dogs and cats. But other animals can also be regarded ESAs, as long as a mental health professional determines that their presence offers emotional benefits. Different types of ESAs:
- Guinea pigs
Benefit from Emotional Support Animal
Let’s check a few of the benefits of the ESA Letter.
- Not only do ESAs suggest companionship on a day-to-day basis, but they can also deliver comfort during distress, says Ernesto Lira de la Rosa, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist and media counsel for the Hope for Depression Research Foundation. Other potential benefits of ESA include easing stress, loneliness, and anxiety while increasing feelings of pleasure and relaxation.
- People interpreted with mental health or psychiatric disorders encountered a statistically significant decrease in anxiety, depression, and loneliness after getting emotional support from animals. Researchers also observed an upsurge in oxytocin — the “bonding hormone” associated with sensations of well-being — and lower parts of the stress hormone cortisol after players had 10-minute focused interactions with their emotional support animal. Examples of some conditions that might allow you for an ESA:
- Major depressive disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic disorder
- Blindness (including partial)
- Deafness (including partial)
- Panic attacks
If you’re curious about getting an emotional support animal, contact a licensed mental health professional, suggests Lira de la Rosa. During your first therapy session, they’ll generally ask about:
- Your medical history
- Earlier traumatic experiences
- Contemporary mental and emotional health symptoms, including how long you’ve had them and how they impact your daily life
These questions allow them to get a clearer picture of your overall mental health, which can assist them in better understanding whether you might benefit from an ESA. If they think you might help, they’ll compose a formal letter revealing that you keep a mental or emotional disability — which they do not need to label or define — and express their recommendation for an ESA to assist with this issue.
It’s important to realize they won’t create this decision after just one session. It takes a span for a therapist to get sufficient insight into your mental and emotional condition of mind to determine whether an ESA could offer the support you need. They might ask that you observe a few sessions before they compose that letter.
An ESA can deliver companionship, comfort, and emotional support for people living with depression, anxiety, and other mental health crises.
A certified mental health professional can assess your current mental and emotional health and decide how an ESA might serve in your treatment plan. If they think an ESA may be right for you, they’ll write a letter you can offer landlords and school residences that don’t allow pets. Remember that ESAs aren’t the same as service animals, and not all businesses are required by law to enable them.
Benefits Of Registering the Dog As An Emotional Support Animal
Emotional support dogs deliver companionship to the owner that helps facilitate a mental health condition, such as depression, phobias, or anxiety. While service dogs assist their owners in performing tasks that affect physical elements, an emotional support pet allows its owner to cope with any mental illnesses they may live with.
Benefits Of an Emotional Support Dog
A licensed therapist must first endorse you to have an emotional support dog, certifying that you have a mental health disability improved by your support animal’s presence. Your dog does not require to be registered, as there is no official registry. But you must have an ESA letter for them to evolve into an official emotional support dog. There are no breed or size needs for emotional support dog benefits. However, your pet must be well behaved around others, under your control at all times, and must not pose any danger to the health and safety of others. Also, though not needed, it’s good to get them spayed or neutered to stop the arrival of an unexpected puppy litter and any aggressive behaviours linked to mating.
It’s important to note that ESAs are distinct from service animals, specially trained to aid people living with a disability. For example, a service animal can be instructed to sense when its owner is about to have a panic attack and take the step to stop the attack or soften its effect. An ESA, by contrast, suggests more generalized comfort.