If you live with an emotional disability or mental illness like anxiety, acute stress disorder, depression, or PTSD, an emotional support animal could help you better manage your symptoms.
The most important step to getting an emotional support animal is to acquire an ESA letter from a doctor or a licensed mental health professional.
Let’s take a closer look at how to ask your doctor for an ESA letter.
Why People with Mental Illness Find it Hard to Ask a Doctor for an ESA!
Unfortunately, mental illness still remains a taboo subject for some, and many people find it difficult to address the topic with their doctor.
Here at CertaPet, we’re all about breaking the stigma around mental health problems. Talking to your doctor about depression or anxiety should be no different than talking to them about the flu or a stomachache.
How to Ask Your Doctor for an Emotional Support Animal Letter
If you’re receiving treatment from a licensed mental health professional for a diagnosed mental illness or emotional disability, you can ask them to write you an ESA letter.
However, you can also ask your general practitioner/primary healthcare provider to issue you a letter as well.
5 Tips on Asking Your Doctor for an ESA:
Follow these five tips on how to ask your doctor for an emotional support animal letter.
- Before you worry too much about how to ask your doctor for an ESA letter, make sure you’ve read up about what emotional support animals are and how they can help. Think about how one would fit into your life.
- Keep a record of your symptoms to show your doctor. Some people use a mobile app for this, while others prefer a diary on paper. Knowing how you felt and when will help you to see patterns of the things that have helped you to cope better—like being around animals.
- If you already have a pet, think about the ways that it helps you to feel better and make sure you share these reasons with your doctor.
- Be calm and confident when you ask your doctor to prescribe you an emotional support animal. Outline how you think it will help and what exactly you need the doctor to do to help make this happen.
- If you don’t feel comfortable asking your doctor for an ESA letter, CertaPet is here to help. CertaPet can help to connect you with a licensed mental health professional in your state, meaning that you can get an ESA letter quickly and in a stress-free way from the comfort of your own home!
The Benefits of an Emotional Support Animal Letter
With a valid ESA letter, you and your emotional support animal are eligible for legal protections, such as being able to travel with your ESA in the cabin free of charge on commercial flights and living with your ESA in rented accommodation.
What Your Emotional Support Animal Letter Should Include
An ESA letter should:
- be written on the official letterhead of your doctor or therapist
- contain the details of your doctor or therapist’s license to practice in the state you are located in
- and state that you have been diagnosed with a mental illness for which you are receiving treatment.
It should also indicate that your emotional support animal is a part of your treatment plan and necessary for you to carry out daily tasks.
5 Ways an Emotional Support Animal Can Help You Cope with Your Symptoms
Emotional support animals can help their owners in numerous ways. A few are listed here:
- Acting as a distraction from intrusive or negative thoughts
- Establishing a healthy routine of regular exercise, play, and responsibility
- Gaining confidence to go outside and create opportunities for socialization
- Providing unconditional love and support in times of stress or unhappiness
- Being a calming presence that helps to block stress hormones
CertaPet is Here to Help You Get a Valid Emotional Support Animal Letter
If you’re not currently seeing a doctor or a licensed mental health professional, CertaPet can help.
We know how time-consuming and stressful it can be to locate a healthcare provider within your network, commute to an appointment, and then wait in the lobby until your healthcare provider is able to see you. We also know that not everyone has access to health insurance or the means to pay for proper healthcare.
That’s why we’ve made it easier than ever for those living with a mental or emotional disability to get the support they need.
The first step is to take our free, 5-minute screening test.
If you qualify for an emotional support animal, then we’ll put you in touch with a licensed mental health professional, who will schedule a consultation with you.
They’ll determine if an emotional support animal is the right fit for your needs, and if it is, they’ll issue you an Emotional Support Animal Letter.
There’s no need to go another day struggling to manage the symptoms of your emotional or mental disability. The benefits of animal companionship are many, and an Emotional Support Animal can make a world of difference in your life. Take the free, 5 minute screening test today – your Emotional Support Animal Letter is just a few clicks away!