If you have been diagnosed with a mental health condition or an emotional disability, you are definitely wondering how your life will change. Your doctor must have told you about the importance of emotional support from your family and friends, which is a crucial aspect in treating and managing these conditions.
People suffering from mental and emotional conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, mood disorder, suicidal thoughts and tendencies, panic attacks, fear/phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder require higher emotional support to cope with varying emotions, which could have devastating consequences.
How an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Helps
However, there are those times your family and friends will not be with you and it is during these moments that an overwhelming sense of fear attacks. At times like these, an emotional support animal (ESA) will come in handy. Your pet dog can now become recognized as an ESA to give you emotional support through constant companionship and affection.
Dogs are very close to humans and throughout civilization, these animals have always been part of the household. It is for this reason that dogs are regarded among the best emotional support animals. An ESA dog helps reduce stress, avert loneliness, increase activity, improve mental health, lower blood pressure and cholesterol and so much more.
It is for this reason that several laws have been passed to recognize the importance of ESAs in the lives of people suffering from mental health disorders. These laws include the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), which allows you to live in a rented apartment with your emotional support animal without any discrimination. The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) on the other hand enables you to fly with your ESA inside the cabin without extra charges.
If you have a loving dog and you are suffering from a mental or emotional condition, you can now have it certified as an ESA. If you have just searched the phrase ‘register my emotional support dog’, you are in luck. The simple steps involved are:
1. Medical exam – This is crucial to determine that indeed your dog helps you due to a mental condition you are suffering from. This test will help you get the all-important prescription that identifies the need for an ESA in your life.
2. Payment for the test – You will have to pay for the test and if you are doing this online, this will only take a minute. Make sure you are using an ESA doctor whose platform is secure.
3. Test review – This is the important part where a mental health specialist goes through your test answers to determine whether you really need an ESA dog.
4. Approval – Once the review is done you will get an approval through email. Your doctor might also require more information at this stage.
5. Registration/certification – This helps to legally recognize your dog as an ESA. The National Service Animal Registry (NSAR) provides registration and certification to make it easier for you to stay or travel with your ESA dog.
Make sure you identify your dog as an ESA in public areas. Getting your dog registered as an ESA now takes just a few clicks.