The year 2020 has shown quite a large impact on us, especially when it comes to the mental health of most of us. The pandemic related to COVID-19 has made us realize the importance of our relations with other people, as we had to face severe lockdown. It also pointed out the significance of the accessibility of mental health services as people were in the dire need of approaching a mental health professional regarding their mental health issues, and there weren’t able to do so because of the lockdown scenario in most places.
One of the most important things that people started to accept this year, were telemedicine services, without any hesitation. During the times when most of the social interactions such as parties, weddings, birthdays, educational classes are being conducted online, important things like healthcare services should not be excluded. Not only that, but 2020 was also the year in which most of the people in the entire world decided that it was a very good idea to adopt pets, as we have seen a significantly large amount of people (as per the statistics) who opted for having pets. In more than enough cases, animals were proven to be very worthy companions, which stood beside us and provided the support and comfort we needed during hard times.
If you are among the people who rely on an animal companion in order to deal with your mental/emotional issues, or if you want to adopt a pet so that you can deal with such issues, this article would be very useful for you to get familiar with all necessary details regarding emotional support animals as well as telehealth services related to those. We will be going to discuss what emotional support animals are and how can you qualify for having an emotional support animal with the help of telehealth services while being in the comfort of your home.
If you are all set for connecting with a licensed mental health professional to obtain an ESA letter, please click on the link provided below to begin the process.
Table of Contents
- What are Online Mental Health Services?
- What is an Emotional Support Animal?
- Can you be able to legally qualify for an ESA with the help of Telehealth Services?
- Who is considered a perfect fit for an online ESA Assessment?
- Where can you get in touch with an ESA Therapist online?
What are Online Mental Health Services?
Online Mental Health Therapists are nothing more than regular therapists who utilize online platforms in order to treat their patients. Certain types of health issues such as physical illnesses would require touching, probing, scans, and tests. Therefore, they can be very hard and challenging to be checked or treated virtually. Anyhow, mental health services often rely on written as well as verbal interactions, which are easy to be carried out online.
The application and usage of telehealth services or telemedicine have experienced a hike during the COVID-19 pandemic situation. In order to state an example for this, a survey that has been conducted by the American Psychiatric Association has declared that 64% of the psychiatrists never had virtual sessions with their patients before COVID-19. After the spread of this pandemic, the percentage has seen a drop of around 1.9%. This means that there has been a 2% increase in the psychiatrists who tend to provide their services online. However, after the COVID-19 effect will become reduced, it seems that telehealth services will maintain their position and continue to flourish in their respective field.
Using telehealth and telemedicinal practices, certain types of medical professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and other licensed professionals can help in assessing your ESA needs and requirements with the help of online consultants.
What is an Emotional Support Animal?
An Emotional Support Animal is the type of animal, which provides us with the required support and comfort while making us have certain benefits related to housing laws (with no pets policy) and air travel. ESAs provide support and comfort for the people who suffer from conditions associated with mental and emotional health issues. In contrast to service dogs, ESAs don’t require any type of special training. The most common types of ESAs are dogs and cats, however, there are other types of animals such as rabbits, fish, hamsters, iguanas, etc., which can be kept as ESAs.
ESA owners are provided with certain special rights as per the federal laws that safeguard these animals’ rights for accompanying their owners in housing and on planes. The Fair Housing laws offer protection to ESA owners from unfair discrimination against them by their landlords. For instance, residents should be allowed to have the company of their pets in a house, apartment, condo, or any other form of housing that bans people from having pets. Adding to that, the ESA owners are not even required to pay any sort of pet deposits or other pet-related fees. Emotional Support Animals are also exempt from discrimination due to their size or breed, which are usually set by a landlord, co-op, or HOA. ESA owners also have the privilege of traveling along with their pets in airplanes as per the Air Carrier Access Act, without having to pay additional fees.
To get qualified for an emotional support animal, you will be needing a recommendation letter (known as an ESA letter) that has been obtained from a licensed mental health professional.
Can you be able to legally qualify for an ESA with the help of Telehealth Services?
An ESA letter or ESA recommendation letter should be acquired from any of the licensed medical professional listed below:
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
- Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW)
- Medical Doctor
To get an ESA letter issued in your name, the medical professional must take an assessment of your mental health as well as emotional health and determine whether or not you meet the eligibility criteria for having an emotional support animal.
In general, to qualify for an emotional support animal, you must be dealing with an existing health condition such as depression or anxiety that is known to limit one or more major activities of an individual. The professional should also make it clear that an emotional support animal will help to ease the symptoms of that specific health condition.
As most people are opting to get in touch with their mental health professional virtually during the lockdowns due to COVID-19, most people are often having a particular question about ESAs. The question is whether or not the people can be able to get an ESA letter via an online telehealth service provider. To give a precise answer for this, the US Department of Housing has addressed this specific situation in the ESA guidance issued by them in January 2020. In accordance with HUD’s guidelines, an ESA letter can be legally obtained from an online healthcare professional working in a remote location.
An emotional support dog can help in making the day better, especially when people are facing mentally and emotionally challenging times.
Who is considered a perfect fit for an online ESA Assessment?
If you are already seeing a mental health professional, then he/she maybe be the best available option to seek help if you want to have an ESA. Connecting with a licensed mental health professional online for getting an emotional support animal is advantageous for these types of people:
- People who have a very tight schedule and/or want to avoid the hassles of traveling to or from offices.
- People who have certain phobias or who face inconvenience in expressing their mental health conditions directly to someone.
- People having financial hard times and can’t afford the services that are provided in person.
- People who are dealing with mobility issues and have difficulties in leaving their homes.
- People who have already consulted a mental health professional, who is not willing to offer them an ESA letter or not familiar with the concept of an ESA letter.
- People who would rather prefer relying on the internet instead of choosing telephone calls or in-person visits.
Online medical services made it easier for accessing mental health sources. Any person who is interested in knowing whether or not they qualify for having an ESA is considered a perfect fit for having an assessment with the help of telehealth services.
Where can you get in touch with an ESA Therapist online?
The specific set of guidelines issued by HUD in January 2020 indicate that online mental health professionals can legally provide ESA letters. However, a warning has also been mentioned in these guidelines stating that ESA owners should be aware of websites that sell registrations and certificates and avoid such websites as these certifications and registrations don’t provide any legal rights. Any famous and reputed telehealth ESA service provider can be able to get you in touch with a licensed healthcare professional, who has the ability to assess you for an ESA and provide you a proper ESA letter after you get qualified.
ESA Certificate has a network of licensed mental health professionals, who have extensive knowledge about emotional support animals. These medical professionals have the capability of determining whether you need an ESA or not. Moreover, healthcare professionals provide services from remote locations. This means, the entire process for having an ESA can be completed online while being at the comfort of your home, without having to make any office visits.
ESA Certificate will assist you in having all the necessary information and support, which is helpful for you in confidently using your ESA letter for housing as well as air travel. If you think that you are ready for getting started, please click on the link provided below.
Get qualified for an ESA letter today!
Get connected with a Licensed Mental Health Professional online and obtain your legit ESA letter delivered to you. All this done conveniently from the safety and comfort of your home.