Rebecca Stone, LMHC
Joy & Support from Animals
Updated: Oct 26, 2022
Finding joy in the simple things. I swear my pet dog had to have been a cat in another life. She's a medium sized dog who loves to lay across the back of the couches; it's hilarious! I like when she does that and wants to snuggle.
Animals can bring so much happiness, they can help you keep a routine, and they can help people have a purpose or sense of responsibility. When people struggle with mental health symptoms to the point of disability, they may benefit from being assessed for having an Emotional Support Animal disability accommodation (for housing or air travel). ESAs can help alleviate symptoms associated with a disability, and that will look different for each person. ESAs can help people better access and/or enjoy housing.
An assessment and letter (if assessed to be appropriate) from a qualified physician or licensed mental health provider (who is assessing or treating the individual for mental health purposes) is what's needed in order to apply for housing or air travel accommodations.
More info about ESAs is available on my blog.
*Note: Since the original publish date, the Air Carrier Access Act has had a Final Rule (Dec. 2020) which no longer requires airlines to permit/accommodate Emotional Support Animals as reasonable accommodations for air travel and also institutes certain paperwork requirements for flying with trained Service Animals (dogs) as well as other requirements.