The process of acquiring a Mental Health Support Animal should be hard enough to keep people trying to scam the system, but easy enough for those that will need the resource as well as benefit from it. Because of the inclusion of the mental health system where a mental health doctor has to meet with the patient, continue meeting with the patient, and prove to the mental health professional that they need this animal with them is a lot of effort to go through for someone with no mental health problems. However, for someone that suffers from such conditions, this is something that needs to be done anyway.
Once a person recognizes they suffer from such condition, and chooses to see a doctor, they will make an appointment, and evaluate the patient. It will likely take several of face to face patient visits for the mental health professional to consider that the patient might benefit from the use of an Mental Health Support Animal. The professional will likely discuss with the patient of such possibility and may inquire on the behavior of the pet if the patient has one.
Assuming the patient has a pet that the animal’s behavior qualifies as an MHSA, then the professional may ask the patient to get a digital image of the patient and the animal. Assuming that the patient and professional has an email address, the patient may be able to send the images to the professional’s email address address or MHSA site’s forwarder address. If the animal is required to have a local license, the patient may want to bring in the license number as well as the micro-chip number. The patient may also have to take measurements of the dog, especially if the animal does not have a vest or pack.
In the next visit, the professional will start the application process. The first step after using 2 factor login will be to answer the 5 questions. Once answered, the professional will fill out the patient’s information which is mostly demographic. The professional will also add the image of the patient to the registration file. The patient will have a patient registration number which is given to the patient. This number will also be the patients login ID. It is only made known to the public by viewing the animal’s registration page. After the patient is entered into the system, the animal is then entered. The professional may have to ask questions about the animal which of course should have the patient there. At this time, the professional will either make the animal probationary or active. Probationary will suggest that the dog may need to be conditioned to interact with the public, but meets the requirements of an Emotional Support Animal especially the non-aggression. Also, if the professional wants to see if the patient will benefit from the Mental Health Support Animal, the probationary period will also apply.
A couple of days later, the patient should receive a phone call from the department that handles the MHSA database. This phone call will confirm the information that the doctor entered, and inform that a package will be sent, and they must sign for it. The package will not be released to anyone else. The department representative will ask if the patient is capable of doing that. If for some reason, the answer is no, the department will send the package to the health professional.
Once the patient receives the kit, they will have everything they need including a welcome letter that will welcome them into the registry, and offer a link to the manual which will detail the program and everything that is needed to be known and is expected. As well a link for the app page, and contact details will be available. The kit will also include
- A vest fitting for the dog which will include the emblem patches
- Two Emblem Patches
- One or Two ID cards
At this time, any time the patient will need the Mental Health Support Animal, he will put on the vest or a pack with the registration emblems on the pack. He will take one of the ID cards, and tether the leash to them. The patient will then be able to board public transit, health facilities, and government offices. If the animal is considered as an active status, they can not be refused access into private businesses. Most private businesses should have no problems with allowing a pet under a probationary period as this is no impact on the needs of the patient.
If the patient is questioned, he may show the dog’s registration ID card. The entity may use the QR code to visit the animal’s page and see the status. A list of all handlers (patients) will be noted which the entity may view to verify the person is appropriately assigned with the pet.