If you’re a doctor, therapist, nurse, or social worker, your client or patient may have asked you for an ESA letter at some point.
An ESA letter is a signed document attesting to your belief that your client or patient needs an emotional support animal for their mental health disability. An ESA letter gives a legal right to the owner to live in no-pets buildings with their animals.
Knowing that your client is struggling with their mental health, it can be hard to say no. However, many doctors and therapists are hesitant to write ESA letters for the following reasons:
- Lack of understanding of ESA rules.
- Unfamiliarity with the client’s mental health issues.
- Fear of liability.
- Lack of knowledge about how to write an ESA letter.
- Unwillingness to deal with landlord verifications regarding the letter.
- The practice is forbidden by the clinic or hospital they work for.
- Uncertainty about the client’s eligibility for an emotional support animal.
If you’re stuck in this situation, the best option is often to refer your client to a trustworthy ESA service like ESA Doctors. ESA Doctors only works with licensed professionals who are capable of writing legitimate ESA letters.
Below is a guide for how you can respond to your patient’s request in a compassionate and supportive way.
1. Start with positive affirmation
Asking for an ESA letter can be tough, and the letdown of finding out that you can’t provide one can be even tougher. If a client or patient is asking for an ESA letter, they are likely in a period of stress, depression, or anxiety, so it’s crucial to be mindful of their feelings.
When you begin the conversation, let the patient know you appreciate their trust in you. This helps them understand that their well-being is your priority.
2. Acknowledge their needs
Address their request directly, validating their feelings and the reason behind their ask for an emotional support animal.
3. Explain your position clearly and gently
It’s now time to explain your discomfort with the request. Remember, honesty is key, but so is empathy. Make sure they know that your decision isn’t a reflection of their needs or a dismissal of their feelings but rather a limitation on your end.
4. Offer alternatives and solutions
Don’t leave the conversation hanging after explaining your standpoint. Provide your patient with other possibilities that could be beneficial for their situation, keeping the focus on their well-being and recovery.
5. Give them space to respond
After sharing your thoughts, give them the chance to voice their feelings, questions, or concerns. This helps to maintain an open dialogue and reinforces that you are there to support them.
Remember, showing kindness and understanding will go a long way in making your patient feel heard and supported, even when you’re unable to fulfill their specific request. The goal is to provide help and support in ways that align with your expertise and comfort level.
6. Refer Them to a Reliable ESA Specialist
If you’re not sure where to send your client or patient for help with an ESA letter, trust ESA Doctors. They work with qualified independent licensed professionals across the country and have been successfully helping people for over 10 years.
These professionals are ESA specialists who handle the evaluation, ESA letter, and any landlord interactions needed to approve the animal. Your client or patient will be in capable hands.
ESA Doctors is fully accredited by the BBB with an A+ rating and stellar reviews. You can rest easy knowing your client will get exactly the help they need at a reasonable cost.