The process of obtaining emotional support dog letters can be a bit stressful. Consulting with a mental health professional is the first step in trying to get approved for an emotional support animal (ESA). Recent studies show that one in every five adults in the United States experiences a mental illness each year. While the severity of these illnesses can range from quite mild to severe, getting the right treatment is a must.
For some people, being able to travel around with their ESA is essential to their mental well-being. The only way a person will be able to fly, ride a bus or even share a rental living space with their ESA is by obtaining a letter from a mental health professional. The following are just some of the most frequently asked questions about emotional support animals.
What Is an Emotional Support Animal?
One of the most common questions people have about this type of treatment is what is an emotional support animal? This legal term was coined to describe an animal that provides companionship and affection to their owner. Often times, mental health professionals will allow patients to get an ESA if they feel this treatment can offer them therapeutic benefits. Unlike service dogs, emotional support animals do not need to undergo any special training. Generally, the only prerequisite for a pet to become an ESA is the ability to get along with people.
Can a Primary Care Physician Write an ESA Prescription?
While consulting with your primary care physician about the benefits of an ESA is a good idea, you may run into problems when trying to get a prescription from them. There are a number of doctors who do not believe in the therapeutic benefits that emotional support animals can offer. These types of doctors will probably want to prescribe medications to treat conditions like insomnia, depression or anxiety. Rather than settling for this type of treatment, you will need to find a doctor who believes in the power of emotional support animals. Luckily, there are a number of websites out there that specialize in providing people with information about pro-ESA doctors in their area. With the help of one of these websites, you should have no problem finding the healthcare services you need.
Does an Emotional Support Animal Letter Have an Expiration Date?
The answer to this question is a bit complicated. Generally, the expiration date of your ESA letter will depend solely on the healthcare professional that writes it. While some healthcare professionals may want you to come back and renew the letter each year, others will write a lifetime prescription. Before choosing a doctor to get your ESA letter from, you need to inquire about their expiration date policy. With this information, you can narrow down the selection of pro-ESA doctors in your area.
What is the Correlation Between the Fair Housing Amendment Act and an ESA Letter?
The Fair Housing Amendment Act states that landlords are not able to discriminate against individuals who have a documented need for an emotional support animal. Housing providers are required by law to accommodate people with disabilities, both physical and mental. If you have been discriminated against, you will need to report this abuse to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. With their help, you should be able to get this matter resolved in a timely manner.
Are you living with depression or anxiety? If so, an emotional support animal may be just what you need to better your situation. Scheduling an appointment with a mental health professional is the best way to find out whether or not this treatment is right for you.