Having a pet as an emotional support animal is a rising trend in the US. Research has indicated that a pet can provide many benefits for people with mental health needs. Holding and caring for a pet has a calming influence on people and results in increased pleasure. This, combined with the unconditional love offered by an animal makes them ideal as a companion for those with mental health issues.
Physiological, social and medical benefits combine to make emotional support animals a great choice for those with mental health needs. The enjoyment provided by their pet can go a long way to assisting in their recovery.
Benefits of Emotional Support Animals
Physiologically, benefits include lowering anxiety and reducing stress among people with mental health needs. Having a pet also assists in reducing the loneliness of vulnerable people by increasing social interaction. This has a big impact on keeping depression in check.
There have also been medical benefits associated with owning an emotional support animal. These include reducing pain and regulating heart rate and blood pressure. They can provide long-lasting health benefits by increasing physical activity and mental stimulation.
Emotional support animals can provide great comfort to their owners, particularly if they suffer from mental health issues such as PTSD, anxiety, depression and phobias. Caring for an emotional support animal can give them an increased sense of purpose and more motivation to tackle their mental health issues.
A boost to the self-esteem of owners can translate into a more active social life, providing a feeling of contentment and satisfaction.
ESA’s and Federal Regulations
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides regulations dealing with keeping an emotional support animal in designated non-pet housing. Dogs are the most common emotional support animals, however, it is important to note that other animals also qualify.
To qualify, the pet does not have to be certified, however, documentation is required that confirms there is a legitimate need. This documentation needs to be completed by a mental health or health provider. This documentation must show that the animal provides support that alleviates at least one of the identified symptoms or effects of the existing disability.
If you require assistance with this type of documentation, I am able to help you. With over 12 years of experience, my practice offers both psychiatric evaluation and medication management for a range of mental health needs. I serve all age groups from children aged 4 and up through to adults.
I can assist you with all your mental health needs. Treatment is offered for a range of mental health needs, including:
- Adjustment Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Mood Disorder Treatment
- Intermittent Explosive Disorder
- Anxiety Disorder
- Major Depressive Disorder
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder
- Schizoaffective Disorder
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Contact me for any of your mental health needs. I look forward to meeting you, getting to know you and working with you to tackle your mental health needs.