For a long-term mental health program, your first step is to seek help in alleviating your emotional disability. An emotional support animal is an invaluable companion. It has been helping innumerable people in getting their life on track and live a better life.
Your first question is do I qualify for an emotional support animal? A licensed psychological health professional evaluates your medical condition. It may include animal therapy to support you during an impairment, which may or may not be visible. Several conditions are listed in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual, where ESAs can be beneficial.
- Anxiety disorder
- Learning disabilities
- Attention deficit disorder
- Motor skills disorder
- Intellectual disorder
If you have a minimum one disability as mentioned above, you get protection under the Air Carrier Act and the Fair Housing Act. A property manager or owner will not deny you to keep your ESA and even the airlines are aware of the ESA rights. However, you will need to get an ESA letter from a licensed psychiatrist or therapist.
What must the ESA letter contain?
- You are the existing patient of the licensed mental health professional who signed the letter.
- Under the disability treatment as described by the DSM, you are prescribed an ESA.
- You are substantially limited to participate or perform one or more major routine activities.
- The letter must mention the kind of ESA along with its name.
- The ESA letter must have an issuance date, which is valid for one-year [you will need to renew it].
- All the above details have to be written on the licensed mental health doctor’s official letterhead.
Technology has made getting an ESA letter easy. You can get an ESA letter online from mental health specialists, who are well-versed in the ESA regulations.
Adopt an ESA
ESA can be of any species but your travel rights may be restricted if your ESA is not a dog or a cat. Adopt an animal that makes you feel comfortable in your moments of depression, anxiety, and stress. Never adopt an ESA, which violates local regulations.
Train your ESA
After adopting an ESA give it needed basic training to ensure it behaves disciplined in public. Even though ESAs don’t need training, a mannerly animal will be readily accepted. ESA can be trained on your own. It can be a great bonding exercise. You can get great tips online about ESA training.
The ESA letter is crucial to make your ESA legitimate. It is evidence that is recognized by landlords and airlines. So, get one as soon as possible, it ensures your ESA stays and travels with you!