Anyone who has certain levels of anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions and that require an Emotional Support Animal to help alleviate these stressors and to enhance their ability to function independently. An ESA may be prescribed by a licensed Mental Health Care Professional as part of the treatment for any mental/psychiatric condition. Our clients complete a thorough online assessment which has been approved by our highly experienced and qualified Mental Health Care professionals. Our professionals use the standards set forth in the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V) in making their decision.
It is hard to differentiate between a pet and an Emotional Support Animal as we all love our four-legged friend. An ESA though, is a companion pet that provides assistance to anyone with a disability.
The purpose of an ESA is to help alleviate some of the emotional and mental health symptoms one has due to a certain disability. Emotional Support Animals provide their owners with endless amounts of love and joy and are great at offering emotional support to those with mental health concerns. An ESA is intended to help alleviate at least one aspect of the owner’s disability and is not protected under the law until it is officially certified by a Licensed Mental Health Professional.
To qualify you must be diagnosed with an emotional disability by a psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, or other licensed mental health professional.
Your ESA certification comes in the format of a formal letter on the Official Letterhead from the Mental Health Professional. The letter will address the disability and the need that qualifies you as an ESA owner. Some of the conditions that may qualify you for an ESA are but not limited to:
Anxiety, mild to severe
Fears (of any kind, such as fear of flying)
- Substance Disorders (alcohol, drugs)
- Disorders caused by stress
- Learning Disorders
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Panic Attacks
A secondary benefit of an ESA can include improving one’s physical health. They may include:
- Feeling safe and comforted
- Reduction in the symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- Decrease in symptoms of the diagnosed mental health disability
- More motivation
- Better self-esteem
- More sociable
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduces severe trauma symptoms
No matter what your condition/disability is, they help you navigate your way through the struggles of your condition. Many people have successfully dealt with their traumas, anxieties, and other mental health issues thanks to their ESA. An ESA is prescribed where one is significantly limited while doing one or more of life’s major activities.
The most common ESA’s are dogs and cats, but have included ducks, monkeys, miniature horses and even peacocks. Some airlines are now limiting certain animals. Please check with the airline you are flying to see its specific policy and limitations on ESA’s. Also please check to see if the airlines require their own specific forms and requirements. As soon as possible, send the required airline forms to GetYourPetCertified.org so our Mental Health Professionals may approve, sign and return those important documents to you in a timely manner.
Remember, under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) an ESA is not a Service Dog and is not given the same full rights and privileges. The Fair Housing Act and the ACAA allow you to live with or fly with your ESA and it is your responsibility to find an airline that will allow your ESA to travel in the cabin with you. Also, hotels do not fall under the Fair Housing Act and certain hotels may not permit an ESA. Please check while making your reservations.