Animals can bring more love to us than we could ever possible realize. Sometimes, when we are going through a difficult time or a time of need, what we truly need to be with is an animal. Whether it is a dog, a cat, a horse, a fish, a hamster, or any other animal, we can be consoled by the tender, loving embrace of our animal friends.
When it comes to emotional support, sometimes we can receive the greatest support from animals. Animals have a way of connecting with our souls and our emotions to bring us the help we need, help that might be difficult for even your friends, family, or loved ones to provide.
How Can Emotional Support Animals Help?
Emotional support animals play a crucial role to our wellbeing. Emotional support animals are considered to be animals of companionship that have been certified by a medical professional to provide benefits to an individual who has a disability. The most common emotional support animals are dogs and cats, with dogs being the more common of the two. Emotional support animals can have the ability to provide therapeutic benefit for a variety of disabilities, including physical, psychiatric, and/or intellectual disabilities.
In Fort Lauderdale, emotional support animals serve individuals with agoraphobia, anxiety, depression, mood disorders, panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social phobias, in addition to others.
For an individual to have an emotional support animal, the individual must have a verifiable disability. Plus, the individual needs to meet the definition of disability that is established by the federal government within the United States and needs to have a physician or medical professional’s note with the statement that the individual has a disability that the emotional support animal is asked to assist with.
It’s common for many people believe that the emotional support animal needs to have underwent special and specific trainings in order to receive the title, but as a matter of a fun fact, the animal does not need to!
It’s also common for people to think that it is required for your emotional support animal to have special identification cards and/or vests that are purchased at an additional fee, but this is not true either! These items are not required because they do not provide any value to the process of the certification.
When it comes to dogs specifically, there are three different classifications: Service dog, emotional support dog, and therapy dog. Service dogs assist the disabled individual through providing functional services to the individual. Emotional support dogs help disabled persons through the use of providing support and comfort for emotional problems. Therapy dogs give love and affection to individuals in need who are in the hospital or the nursing home.
Getting an ESA Letter in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
You might think that obtaining an emotional support animal is difficult, but there are actually a number of trusted services here in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas.
To obtain the physician’s or other medical professional’s letter to an individual to be prescribed an emotional support animal, you can contact various local agencies.
Maesk Group Counseling
Maesk Group Counseling provides prescription letters and emotional support animal evaluations for individuals living in the Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and South Florida areas. The emotional support animal letters provided by the counseling services are able to assist with individuals allowing to have said animals even if they are living in “No Pets” housing situations and will be allowed to take their animals with them to places where pets traditionally aren’t allowed, such as on airplanes where the animal will be able to fly with you in the cabin.
Through Maesk Group Counseling, you can be assisted with having a prescription letter for housing, travel, or both.
There is a process you will need to go through in order to obtain your letter. First, contact the center to schedule an initial evaluation. Most of the evaluations will need to be completed in-person; however, there are instances in which a phone or video conference can be completed as long as you are still a Florida resident. To schedule an evaluation, you can call 954-353-4680 or you can email Doug Maesk at [email protected].
From here, you will then meet together with Doug Maesk who is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. This could be done in-person or via phone or video conference as well. Doug will take you through a diagnostic assessment where he will take a professional look at your present symptoms, will gather your health and medical history, and will make a determination to se if you meet the established criteria for a mental or emotional disability.
After this point, if you meet the requirements, your emotional support animal prescription letter will be written. You can then take this letter to the proper officials, whether your housing association or a particular airline.
Also, as an added treat, anytime you meet with Maesk Group Counseling, you are welcomed and encouraged to bring your pet along with you!
Maesk Group Counseling is located 2881 E. Oakland Park Blvd. in Suite 209, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33306.
Fort Lauderdale Therapy Center
The Fort Lauderdale Therapy Center is able to provide assessments and evaluations for the need of an emotional support animal prescription letter. When you meet with a professional through the center, you will talk with a licensed mental health professional who will guide you with determining your eligibility for the prescription letter.