Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Disability Accommodation
The primary purpose of an ESA is to decrease debilitating emotional symptoms (the mental/emotional disability) and aid in coping, thereby improving an individual's overall functioning and well-being. The potential ESA is not required to undergo any special training or be certified/registered in any way, unlike a service or therapy animal. Another way an ESA is different is federal law only applies when it concerns housing accommodations. However, should the animal be in poor health, not current on vaccinations, a nuisance to others, or aggressive, federal law does not apply.
Please note that Dr. Tommasi will not provide an ESA disability accommodation simply to circumvent housing restrictions and/or to avoid fees associating with having a pet reside on a property. There must be a legitimate psychiatric reason (the disability) why an individual is in true need of an ESA, such as having a documented DSM-V mental or psychological disorder (e.g., generalized anxiety, panic attacks, depression, obsessive-compulsive, social phobia, mood disturbance, PTSD, etc.). THE purpose of an ESA is to alleviate the disability in question. For an example, if a client experiences sleep difficulty, an ESA may assist them in facilitating sleep. To qualify for a disability. an individual must have some kind of functional impairment in one or more of the following major life activities: walking, concentrating, hearing, self-care, performing manual tasks, social interaction, sleeping, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, etc.
Please email Dr. Tommasi at [email protected] for more detailed information regarding the process.