Emotional Support Animals
An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is a pet that has been prescribed by a licensed therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist as part of a treatment program. Therapists prescribing an ESA must have extensive knowledge of research supporting the use of the ESA and utilize the ESA as a treatment modality. Before receiving documentation for recommendation of an ESA, a student must be engaged in on-going therapy with a mental health provider and the ESA must be identified as an essential treatment for the student’s diagnosed emotional or psychiatric disability. Most students will not meet all of these criteria.
University Counseling Center staff does not generally provide letters recommending emotional support animals. Rather, we help students find referrals in the community to address requests for support animals. Please visit our community provider database to locate a local therapist: http://www.gvsu.edu/counsel/community-resource-guide-163.htm
Psychology Today: https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/
Americans with Disabilities Act: http://www.ada.gov/
National Service Animal Registry: https://www.nsarco.com/emotional-support-info.html