You need all the support you can get when living with a mental health condition. Having an emotional support animal can turn things around and make it easier to go through the storms of the symptoms.
Choosing a mental health professional to provide an ESA letter in Hawaii is a pivotal decision to help you feel safe when acquiring housing with an ESA. Therefore, it is essential to choose the right professional to ensure the effectiveness of your ESA letter.
In this guide, we walk you through the easy way to choose an efficient licensed mental health professional for your ESA letter journey. Dive in to gain insights on the same.
Who writes an ESA Letter?
Licensed mental health professionals (LMPH) are mandated to write an ESA letter. These professionals include licensed psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and social workers. It is essential to note that having a licensed mental health professional does not mean they can write an ESA letter.
Some mental health professionals decline to write an ESA letter despite their capacity and mandate; this can be because they do not specialize in such areas, regardless of their knowledge of an individual’s need for an ESA letter.
When choosing a mental health professional for your ESA letter, you should do your due diligence in researching licensed professionals who write ESA letters and know about the laws regarding ESA letters.
How to choose a LMPH for your ESA letter
It is crucial to make careful considerations when choosing a licensed mental health professional for your ESA letter to ensure the legitimacy and effectiveness of the letter. Check out the tips below :
Research about mental health professionals in your state or near you who write ESA letters. If you do not know where to start researching, you can ask your counselor or physician to give a few recommendations. Also, if you have friends with ESA letters, you can ask them to recommend you to the professional who did their ESA letter.
Researching gives you a clear idea of the best professional to assist you in drafting a legitimate letter. It is crucial to get a professional with knowledge of the letter and who understands the components of the letter.
Once you have a list of mental health professionals who can assist you with the ESA letter, you should conduct verification. During verification, confirm the authenticity of the licenses through the state licensing board. Verification ensures you do not fall victim to scams or quack mental health professionals.
You can also go further by assessing whether the LMPH has experience writing ESA letters or whether they write them in the first place. Conducting the assessment helps you narrow down your list of professionals to help you choose the right one faster.
After verifying and getting the potential LMPH who can provide an ESA letter, contact the professionals to hold or schedule a discussion. The discussion can be through a call, an email chat, a virtual meeting, or a physical meeting, depending on the convenience of both you and the licensed mental health professional.
You can discuss your condition and why the emotional support animal is essential during the discussion. You can also disclose how the ESA helps with your symptoms and ask questions about acquiring the letter.
The discussions help build trust with the LMHP and identify the professional with whom you feel most comfortable discussing your mental health issue and going through the assessment process.
Another thing to discuss is the assessment process. When getting an ESA letter, there is an assessment process of your mental health condition and why you need an ESA. Ask about how the LMPH goes about the assessment process or any other inquiries you might have about the assessment.
Agree on the fee
You can enquire about their fees once you have conducted verifications and discussions with several mental health providers. Sometimes, the MHP usually has a rate card, while you have to inquire in other cases. Ensure you know the fee before acquiring the letter to avoid disagreements during or after the process.
Legitimate ESA letter
Awareness of the components of a legitimate ESA letter is essential to avoid getting the wrong one. Below are some of the things that make an ESA letter legitimate:
The ESA letter must contain information about the mental health professional on the letterhead and their signature. The information about the LMPH includes:
- Their professional title
- License number
- The official contact
- Office address
Description of the mental health Ccondition
The letter should state the exact mental health condition, describe why you need an emotional support animal, and how the ESA helps you with the symptoms. The letter should indicate how the ESA is part of therapy.
The letter must explicitly state the recommendation of an ESA by the mental health professional. In addition, it must also have the duration in which the letter remains valid.
Other important details
Other essential details of an ESA letter include expiration date, compliance with federal state law, the MHP signature, and valid dates.
Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.