The criteria set forth in the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) provides the allowance for persons with an emotional disability to certify an emotional support dog to provide therapeutic benefits for those who are diagnosed with certain emotional disabilities by a mental health professional.
Emotional disabilities are less obvious than physical or even mental challenges. The process and expense of finding a licensed therapist or mental health professional can be a rigorous and discouraging process. A faster solution for getting an emotional support letter can be found by using telepsychology.
Telepsychology combines technology and established mental health services as a means to directly connect both patient and doctors by way of a convenient platform where both parties can interact. Many technologies are being made to match mental health professionals with those in need. While in the comfort of their own home. Some current medical practices use text-messaging, telephone calls, emails, online chatting, or a multifunctional apps. That feature video chat and instant messaging to more closely resemble an in-person medical experience.
When seeking an emotional support letter, it is crucial to avoid scams. Illegitimate websites will make claims of providing ESA registration documentation. Only licensed mental health professionals, such as a licensed professional counselor is legit. Moreso, licensed clinical social worker, psychiatric nurse, psychiatrist, or psychologist can write an ESA letter. For faster access and confirmation of an emotional disability, telepsychology presents many benefits.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), tele-mental health or telepsychology practices can be a good solution for patients looking to obtain an emotional support animal, including the following benefits:
Telepsychology removes geographical and mobile limitations. For those with both physical and emotional disabilities, telepsychology increases access to mental health services in rural or remote locations, and in urban areas that are underserved.
It provides a better system of access to patients suffering from emotional distresses that limit ease of in-person interaction, such as PTSD, and cognitive or motor skills disorders, etc.
Telepsychology offers convenient time and dates with sessions that last up to 60 minutes each for up to 8 weeks of follow-up.
This expanded access to mental health evaluations and treatments can improve the clinical workflow with the ability to quickly capture the patient’s background and emotional health history, then leverage that data to provide an improved delivery of care at reduced costs. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) examined approximately 380 studies on telepsychiatry and concluded:
“Telepsychiatry can be cost-effective in selected settings and can be financially viable if used beyond the break-even point in relation to the cost of providing in-person psychiatric services.”
Some people may be looking to obtain certification for an emotional support dog through tele-mental health services. First, always make sure the professional has their license in your home state. Also, whether your insurance will cover the cost of the sessions.
Medicare generally offers coverage for telemedicine services that are similar to regular interactions between health-care providers and patients. Such services include doctor visits, consultations, individual psychotherapy, and pharmacologic management.
Also, make sure you know the type of technology the professional works with and what computer or communications equipment you will need at home. Sometimes telepsychology services can be at an offsite location or telecenter. Find out if the use of offsite equipment is free of charge and if you will need help from a family member or caregiver to assist you during the sessions. To make the most of each telepsychology session:
Consider if you are comfortable receiving mental health care without being face-to-face with a psychologist.
Establish a friendly connection with your service provider, without allowing the technology to make you feel disconnected.
Take the time to collect your thoughts and pertinent information before each session begins.
Innovative technology solutions are growing. As a method of care delivery and can offer a better doctor/patient experience with improved outcomes. Also, at reduced costs. For more information on getting an emotional support dog, visit us at American Service Pets for more information.
Due to the new Department of Transportation (DOT) policy, Emotional Support Animals are NO longer allowed to fly in airplane cabins for free. However, Psychiatric Service Dogs are eligible.
The benefits of an Emotional Support Animal certification and a Psychiatric Service Dog certification are drastically different. Fortunately for you, American Service Pets’ network of active board certified doctors can help you find the right path to certification. To find out whether you need an ESA or PSD letter, take our easy, three-step Pet Owner Survey!
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