Recognizing that a companion animal would greatly help with a disability can be both a happy and terrifying moment. It’s always great to find a beneficial source of support for someone with a disorder but it can be difficult to have the courage to bring the subject up to a professional. Here are a few easy tips to get the conversation started and to ease some of the anxiety concerning the appointment.
Scheduling with a professional
An emotional support animal letter must be written by a licensed mental health professional, not just a physician. Schedule an appointment and discuss the symptoms of the disability that the companion animal will alleviate. Make sure to be honest about what’s being felt and experienced, and allow the professional to make recommendations based on the issues being brought to them. They might have medication or therapeutic suggestions that can help to address the disorder better or along with a companion animal.
Advocating for an emotional support animal
Bring up the topic of a companion animal and ask the professional about their experiences with them. They might have other patients or professional advice concerning these animals that might not be general knowledge. Discuss how having a companion animal will help with the daily mental and physical toll of chores and tasks. Don’t be overly ambitious or pushy and stay honest and clear with how this could help with the disabling condition affecting daily life.
Getting the letter and choosing an animal
Once the letter has been given and paid for (with a cost ranging from $100 to $200 depending on the professional), the letter will be good for a year to show to landlords and property owners. Choose an animal that is calming and doesn’t have any temperamental or social issues that could affect its ability to be supportive and give aid to its owner.
Avoiding online scams and frauds
There are many sites and services online that offer ESA letters with fast and easy programs. Unfortunately, most of these sites are scams that will send an unofficial letter that can’t be verified. A mental health professional must be involved to make an ESA letter effectively legal.