It seems as if everyone is talking about emotional support animals, or ESAs. Emotional support animals offer life support to individuals suffering from emotional or mental disorders and allow them to live their lives to the fullest of their ability.
Unlike service animals like guide dogs or seizure dogs, emotional support animals are often pets who can gain special status. There are many reasons that people are far more comfortable investing in and understanding the uses of emotional support animals as time goes on, and this can only be a good thing for those who require their services
Understanding of Healthcare Professionals
The process of getting an emotional support animal is now much easier, as healthcare professionals seem to be far more understanding of the benefits of an ESA than before. Healthcare professionals are now making themselves available to provide documentation to validate emotional support animals. You can even get a letter via an online consultation, which means that you don’t have to undergo the stress of visiting your doctor’s office (as this is often very triggering for some sufferers of mental illness).
Easier Than Traditional Treatments
When we think of the treatments relating to mental and emotional illnesses, there is often mystery and trauma associated with them. From asylums to electroshock therapy, those suffering from these ailments have not always been treated well by the medical community. As a result of this, many people who suffer from mental illness are reluctant to seek out therapy or pharmacological help.
While these methods are often excellent in treating illness, the ease of using a pet as an emotional support can often be the first step in treatment for many who are suffering. It is an easier step to take than starting a new prescription or searching for a therapist.
Protection of the Law
Thanks to the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986, it is very easy to travel with your emotional support animal. It requires all service animals and emotional support animals to be allowed on flights at no extra cost. Airlines are also required to make concessions for those traveling with animals where necessary. You just need to bring your ESA letter with you, and it is advisable to let your airline know before you travel (although this is not a legal requirement).
Ease of Obtaining a Legal Document
Now, it is easier than ever to obtain an ESA letter. Simply make an appointment with a healthcare professional and they will take care of the rest. You don’t even have to do this in person – meaning it is easy and convenient.
An online consultation means that you will be asked about your condition and your potential ESA. If you are deemed suitable for the program, you will be issued an ESA letter that will grant your pet the protections of being an emotional support animal. Just remember that the letter is only valid for a year, so you will have to have another consultation to renew it when it expires.
Variety of Animals Available
When you think of an emotional support animal, most people automatically think of dogs, as they are the most common form of service animal (as seen in guide dogs and seizure dogs). However, any animal can qualify as an ESA.
Got a cute kitty that makes your day much easier? They can be your new ESA! Horses, reptiles, birds and any other pet is also eligible, as long as they provide you with demonstrable emotional support that alleviates your mental or emotional condition.
Don’t be hemmed in by what you think an emotional support animal should be!
Minimal Life Disruption
The great thing about making your pet your ESA is that there is very little disruption to your day to day life. The hardest thing is organizing the consultation and waiting for delivery of your letter. If you’ve chosen an online consultation, you don’t even have to leave the house. Once your letter arrives, your pet is your emotional support animal and you’ll enjoy the protections that go alongside that definition.
Nothing could be easier, and it means that you won’t be adding stress to your life – which won’t aggravate your condition. It’s an ideal solution and means less disruption for you.
Now that you’re a little more educated about them, perhaps you’ll be able to understand the important function ESAs serve (and you may even think about getting one yourself). The important thing to remember is that you are under no pressure to define an animal in any way, but that the legal protection may make it easier for you to live your life fuller, with less pressure from the struggles of your mental or emotional disorder.