What Are Emotional Support Animals and Would You Need One?

An emotional support animal, or ESA, provides service to people affected by mental or emotional disability through companionship. A licensed mental health professional or general practitioner  prescribes one to provide support and service to patients. The most typical are cats and dogs.

In this post, emotional support animals will be discussed by Australia Disability Services, a leading disability services provider that specializes in a human-centered approach to ensure you will not be alone in this journey to better health.

Emotional Support Animals Are Like Pets

ESA’s are a type of assistance animals because they provide disability support. But they don’t need formal training unlike full service animals to provide disability care. Any animal that provides affection, unconditional attention and comfort can be regarded as an ESA. Thus, ESA’s are not expected to do anything beyond what is expected from being a pet.

Why Would You Need an ESA?

If you are suffering from a debilitating mental health condition or a psychiatric disorder, you can be assessed if having an ESA can help your condition. It is important to establish a patient’s mental health condition  before they are granted an ESA, and not just because they want to have a pet.

How Does It Differ From Owning a Pet?

Once assessed by a licensed health practitioner, a patient will be provided an ESA letter to justify their need to have an emotional support animal. The patient’s disability must be substantial for it to be granted.

Can My ESA Be Brought to Public Spaces, Malls or Airlines?

Unfortunately, emotional support animals are not covered by Disability Discrimination Act of 1992 unlike full service or assistance animals. Establishments are not required to accommodate them, unless the ESA will be certified as an assistance animal.

What Is the Benefit of Getting an ESA Letter?

An ESA letter is proof from a licensed health practitioner. This also certifies you have a genuine condition and having the ESA is part of your disability care. Property managers may also provide consideration and re-evaluate any pet bonds on top of your property lease fees.

But Is It Really an Effective Part of a Therapy?

In a recent study, the disability support provided by ESA’s have been documented to improve a patient’s mental health.

There are various types of assistance animals in Australia. And depending on your need and the assessment of a healthcare professional, we can help you find one. Australia Disability Services aims to provide quality disability services to patients by empowering them. You may reach out to us so we can help you prepare for a better life.