Emotional support animals are becoming an increasingly popular form of therapy for Americans suffering from an emotional or a psychological condition. You may already by the owner of a pet that is providing you with the support, comfort, and company that help you get through the day – or you may be wondering, ‘how can I get an emotional support animal?’ Let’s take a look at some of the qualifying conditions for emotional support animals, the benefits of ESA therapy, and how you might go about getting an ESA or registering your current pet.
Emotional support animals have been recognized as a way to help relieve the symptoms of a variety of different ailments, and ESA therapy is definitely on the increase. It’s often seen as a more viable alternative to medication, or in some cases as something to consider in tandem with medication. All drugs have side effects of some sort; but there are no known bad side effects to owning an ESA! (Unless, of course, you’re allergic to certain animals – in which case you’d just have to choose your pet carefully.) Conditions that are improved by the presence of an emotional support animal include, but are not limited to, depression, PTSD, autism, anxiety, and Attention Deficit Disorder.
Imagine, for example, if you had a fear of open spaces, or you were anxious about certain social situations. With your loyal ESA by your side, these fears could become easier to face and to deal with. Likewise, if you suffer from depression, owning an emotional support animal can help relieve this a bit. If you have a dog, you would probably need to take it for walks. This gets you out of the house and into the fresh air, knowing that you have your furry support always to hand. Walking a dog can also be the catalyst for non-confrontational chats with other dog walkers or passers-by, which could help both lift your mood and raise your self-confidence.
If you’re currently seeing a therapist of some sort to help you with a psychological or emotional disorder, you may be wondering, ‘can my therapist write an ESA letter?’ Well, if your therapist is a licensed mental health professional, then he or she can write your letter. There are many different types of therapist, of course, so you would need to check with yours as to whether they do indeed hold a current license as a mental health professional in your state. If they do, then happy days; you can have your therapist prescribe an ESA! Just to be clear – this doesn’t have to be a specific type of animal or be trained in any way. As mentioned above, you might already own the perfect pet and you just need to get an official ESA letter for it, or you might need to go out and get your pet first and then apply for registration.
Even if your therapist is not a licensed professional, they can still recommend that you get an ESA if they think you would benefit from one. The simplest and quickest way to get your legitimate ESA letter is to apply online with Moosh. We have licensed mental health experts available in every state who will conduct a stress-free assessment online, so you don’t even have to leave your house. This is a big bonus for people who find it daunting either to travel or to speak to another person face-to-face. Once approved, your next question may be: ‘how do I get my ESA letter?’ Simple! We will mail it to you immediately. It’s very important that you acquire your ESA letter from a genuine source. There are quite a few scams out there, and if you were to end up with a fake letter, you would not be allowed all the privileges afforded to genuine ESA letter holders. (Luckily, there are a few ways to check that an ESA letter is legitimate.)
So how might ESA therapy help you? Well, as mentioned above, a pet can provide company and support in many different ways. You and your therapist will know the ways in which your ESA can best support you. In addition to the obvious benefits of owning a pet, a legitimate ESA letter will entitle you to certain privileges. These include being able to take your ESA to certain public places where animals would not normally be allowed, including restaurants and theaters. It goes without saying that your ESA must be on its best behavior, and that you should always carry your ESA letter with you in case you’re asked for it.
In addition, there are three laws that protect you and your pet from discrimination: the Fair Housing Act (which allows you to keep your pet in rented accommodation without penalties or a supplement); the Air Carrier Access Act (which allows your registered ESA, depending on the size and type of animal, to travel with you in the cabin of an airplane); and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which provides support and protection for all Americans with a disability of some sort, including mental health issues.
If you’re currently seeing a therapist and you feel that you might be suffering from one or more of the qualifying conditions for an emotional support animal, it might be worth discussing the pros and cons of ESA therapy, and then applying online with Moosh for your legitimate ESA letter.