Emotional Support Animal Policy


The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for students who request a letter for Emotional Support Animals (ESA) from the Counseling or Health Services staff in the CSB+SJU Well-Being Center.


An emotional support animal (ESA) is a companion animal that provides therapeutic benefit to an individual with mental or psychiatric disability. The animal is part of the treatment plan for a person who meets the definition of the disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The animal is determined to be needed in order to address specific functional limitations and allow the person to live independently.


CSB+SJU Well-Being Center has had an increased number of students requesting that a medical and/or mental health provider “prescribe” (write supporting documentation for) an ESA. While we understand that a pet can be an important source of support during stressful times for many students, ESAs are not prescribed or specifically recommend by the Counseling or Health Services staff in the CSB+SJU Well-Being Center. While the providers in the CSB+SJU Well-Being Center recognize the benefits that ESAs provide, we want students to know that we do not provide diagnosis, official assessment, or supporting documentation for such accommodations. We are happy to talk with students to generate ideas for resources in the community that might offer this type of assessment and documentation for accommodations. Students’ previous medical or mental health providers may be able to help.