Those suffering from mental health disorders may find relief in the form of a support animal. One in four of those living in the United States is suffering from a mental health disorder. For these people, the presence of an Emotional Support Animal could allow them to deal with daily challenges, have a sense of support, and have an improved quality of life.
What are the Requirements for an Emotional Support Animal
ESAs are different than service animals. They are not required to be trained to perform a specific service. Their very existence alone is a service. In order to have a registered Emotional Support Animal, you must have your animal registered by your mental health professional. Your therapist or doctor will assess your mental health and take down the necessary information. They will then use this information to create a letter for you.
Some disorders that would qualify you for an ESA include learning disorders, sexual disorders, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Support animals for PTSD sufferers are increasing beneficial, as well as pet therapy for depression and other mental health disorders. Survey results reported that animals kept as companions improved the mental health of their owners. That is why legitimate Emotional Support Animals are becoming more recognized.
“No Pets Allowed” Does Not Apply to Emotional Support Animals
Emotional Support Animals are actually allowed into housing that states “no pets”. This is due to the Fair Housing Act, which states that accommodations must be made for your ESA. This would be something that would need to be brought up with a landlord or building manager upon intent to stay at their property. Their pet policy may remain effective if they deem your ESA to be a financial burden. The pet policy could also remain effective if your ESA causes a significant disturbance on the property, such as excessive barking. This Act, still, however, ensures that you are granted equal opportunity to housing.
Emotional Support Animals are Allowed to Fly with You
That is right! You can actually fly with PTSD animals. Normally, pets are required to fly in the cargo hold. However, your Emotional Support Animal can fly with you inside the cabin. You will not be charged extra fees to bring your pet on your flight with you. However, you will want to contact your airline or research what their ESA policy is prior to boarding your flight. If your ESA is larger and requires more room, the airline will provide you with proper accommodation.
What Must an ESA Letter Contain?
One of the most confusing aspects of how to get PTSD animals is the letter. So, what is an ESA letter? ESA letters are written by mental health professionals and will need to contain details pertaining to your mental health. Among other stipulations, the letter should include the professional’s license type, date of their license, and license number. An outline of your disability and treatment will need to be included. The impact of how this disability affects your day to day life will also need to be noted.
ESAs, such as PTSD animals, play a critical role in those suffering from mental health disorders. It is important to not abuse the system, such as trying to get an ESA to live in no-pet housing. This takes away and makes it harder for those who have a legitimate need for a support animal. If you are suffering from a mental health disorder, it is important to get in touch with your primary doctor or therapist. They will walk you through the steps you need in order to register your ESA.