Emotional-Support Animals May Help People With Mental Disorders.

The Wall Street Journal (11/5, Wang, Subscription Publication) reported that emotional-support animals (ESAs) are being used more often to help people with mental illnesses and conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and autism. Observational studies on the health benefits provided by such animals, primarily dogs, indicate they may be helpful, even if use of the animals is sometimes controversial in certain situations, such as at restaurants or in airplanes. Unlike guide dogs for the visually impaired, ESAs undergo no formal training, nor are there formal regulations governing their use. Often patients with ESAs rely on a physician’s note specifying how the animal helps the patient.

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— “Rise in Pets as Therapy for Mental Conditions, “Shirley Wang, The Wall Street Journal, November 4, 2013.

Posted in In The News.