One of the hardest steps to getting better for those suffering from a mental illness is finding professional help. It can be an overwhelming task to find any therapist to see in person, let alone one that is also familiar with emotional support animals. In addition to the difficulty of finding the right professional, there are other factors that can make seeing someone challenging. For example, the financial cost of seeing a professional in person can be prohibitive for many.

Seek Help For ESA Qualification Without Leaving Your Home

For those with busy work hours, a heavy class schedule or family caretaker obligations, scheduling a visit with a professional and traveling to an in person meeting can be a major challenge. There are other reasons a person may have trouble seeing a therapist in person as well, such as mobility issues or even anxieties or phobias.

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Who can use remote services to see if they qualify for an ESA?

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For anyone facing these obstacles, there is a modern, convenient and efficient solution that allows individuals to find out from a licensed professional whether an emotional support animal is right for them. Many licensed therapists provide online services and work remotely for clients that cannot or prefer not to meet in person. 

As we have seen with the recent extraordinary events surrounding the Coronavirus, simply moving about and seeing anyone in person at all has become unusually challenging. The unprecedented restrictions placed on mobility as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and fear of close physical contact has led many people to explore new ways of connecting with others through technology. 

In this article, we will explore how individuals interested in an emotional support animal can take advantage of online services to find help from a professional without leaving the comforts of their home. We will also answer the important question of whether an ESA recommendation letter that is obtained through a remote therapist is as usable and valid as one obtained from a therapist seen in-person. 

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To help address conditions such as depression, severe anxiety, PTSD and other disorders, many people have found therapeutic benefits from the companionship of an emotional support animal. An emotional support animal is an animal companion that has been recommended by a licensed healthcare professional (sometimes also referred to as “LMHPs”) to help an individual with their mental or emotional distress. 

ESAs can comfort individuals who are suffering, and provide them with a sense of connection to the world and a non-judgmental physical presence. For many people with severe depression, ESAs provide a reason to get up in the morning and something to look forward to when returning home. With a letter from a licensed professional, an ESA owner has certain legal rights, including the right under federal law to be accompanied by their animal companion in their residence (even if they live in a no-pets building) and on flights in the aircraft cabin.

We live in an age of unparalleled convenience: with a few taps on our smartphones we can order a sandwich, hire a walker for our dog, call a car to drive us across town or book a flight to take us around the world. This technology however can be a double-edged sword. 

Despite being more connected to each other than ever through the digital relationships formed through our smartphones, social media and constant availability by email and text, people are feeling increasingly alienated and disconnected from each other and society. Mental illnesses have become a health epidemic around the world in recent times, growing hand-in-hand with the proliferation of online technology. 

The same technology that may be feeding our sense of alienation can also aid us if used in the right ways. There has never been before such a wide array of resources immediately available at your fingertips if you are suffering from a mental illness, such as educational articles, links to helpful organizations and online professionals. 

ESA Doctors can help connect you to a compassionate and caring remote therapist that is licensed for your state. Just as with a therapist you find in person, these remote therapists are licensed professionals who will use their independent professional judgment to assess your mental health issues and determine whether an ESA may be suitable for you.  

I’ve read that ESA letters obtained online are not valid, is that true? 

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Under HUD’s guidance, licensed professionals can provide services remotely through online services. 

If any website is selling you an ESA letter, or a certification or registration without the involvement of a licensed healthcare professional, then it is likely not valid. Items like identification cards or vests will also not by themselves properly qualify an ESA. Under federal housing rules and air travel rules, an animal companion can only be qualified as an emotional support animal through a letter obtained from a licensed healthcare professional. 

Our technology platform connects you to a remote therapist that is licensed for your jurisdiction. We do not issue ESA letters ourselves – ESA Doctors is a tech driven platform that conveniently connects you to someone that can assist you. Our company is about bringing together clients and therapists who are looking for each other. If you would like additional information on what makes an ESA letter legitimate, you should read this article.

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If the right procedures are followed, yes. If the remote therapist is properly licensed healthcare professional and provides you with an ESA letter, that letter should be just as valid as a letter obtained through an in-person visit. In fact, the U.S. Department of Housing has recognized the critical role that remote therapists play in providing assistance to sufferers of mental or emotional disabilities. Under HUD’s new guidance, licensed professionals can provide services remotely through online services. 

If you qualify for an ESA letter, the licensed health care professionals that ESA Doctors work with will provide their letter on their signed letterhead, and include their contact and licensing information. The contents of an ESA letter obtained through a remote professional will contain the pertinent information that an in-person professional would provide. Your landlord or airline will be able to verify the letter and validate the therapist’s licensing information.

Okay, I’m ready to seek help from a licensed professional, how does this work? 

To get started, you can click on the link below and we will help connect you to a licensed professional in your state. The therapist you are connected to will help determine whether an emotional support animal is right for you. If you qualify, the licensed professional will issue an ESA letter to you which you can present to your landlord or airline. 

Not everyone qualifies for an emotional support animal. However, to help encourage people to find help, we offer a refund if you do not qualify for an emotional support animal so you can find help in other ways. To maintain their professional independence, our remote therapists are not compensated based on whether you are approved or not. If you fail to qualify, we cover the costs at our expense. 

If you have been thinking that an emotional support animal may help your condition, but you do not have a therapist or are having difficulty finding one, help can be just a click away. 

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