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Yes, if it is your GP who is treating you for your disabling mental illness or mental illness related to disability, then your GP can write the letter attesting to disability and the need for an ESA for either housing or flying.  As someone stated, a GP is legally licensed to diagnose and treat a wide range of things including mental illness.  It's "mental health care provider," not "mental health care specialist."

Now if you were being treated by oh, say a voodoo practitioner, perhaps there would be a problem.  If you were being treated for mental illness by a podiatrist or your neighbor's babysitter, yeah that's going to be a problem.  But when the person treating you is someone Joe Average (or Dr. Joe Average) would consider a medical professional and they are licensed to treat mental illness, then consider yourself good to go.
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There is no legitimate certification of ESAs.  Save your money and don't fall for the sites that claim to sell such certification.

The ADA does not apply to ESAs, nor does it apply to housing unless that housing happens to be owned by state or local government. 

The law that probably does apply is the Fair Housing Act.

Here's our article that includes step-by-step instructions for requesting an accommodation to have an ESA exception in "no pets" housing.  The one caveat is that not ALL housing is subject to the FHA so make sure you iron this situation out BEFORE moving in with your ESA.  If you don't get it all ironed out before signing the lease and moving in there's a risk you could be held responsible for paying out the entire lease and not being able to have your ESA there and that would be awful.  So make sure it is resolved before you sign.

http://servicedogcentral.org/content/ESA-housing

A letter from a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist is sufficient evidence to support a request for an accommodation to keep an ESA in "no pets" housing IF the landlord in question is subject to the FHA.  There's even a sample letter for you (for asking for the accommodation) and a sample letter for your doctor to review when writing his letter of support.  It's important that his letter state he is a medical professional treating you for mental illness, that he considers you to be disabled, and that the presence of the ESA is necessary for the sake of your mental health.  If you're okay with you and your psychiatrist explaining in the way and amount of detail you've used here, that should be sufficient to show the relationship between your disability and the animal (called the "nexus").
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I have learned through 3 score + span of life that all people are responsible to be their own best advocate by triple checking facts, laws and info. And not to depend that others will do that for you. So, my shrinking brain is jam-packed with lots of info that effects me and my life. Most I can recall, some I can kinda recall bits and pieces of.

The way one learns is by asking questions and checking out whether the answers were accurate. And by being curious about many things.

Now you have a piece of the puzzle, and know how to find answers! You can do anything you set your mind too with the power of knowledge!
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Thank you for those links! It seems that Adult Protective Services is ignorant to these laws and guidelines. Ironically, I'm forced to research and educate those who have assigned to "protect" me
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Can a General Practitioner diagnose?  We have a shortage of mental health professionals in our area and often people often have been told to go to their GP's for diagnosis, treatment, and prescriptions for mental health conditions.
Sure.  The letter is supposed to be from whatever licensed professional is treating you - it could be a GP, a psychiatrist, a nurse practitioner, a psychologist, a licensed social worker, etc.

Ok thanks, this was confusing from the first answers.
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Can a General Practitioner diagnose?  We have a shortage of mental health professionals in our area and often people often have been told to go to their GP's for diagnosis, treatment, and prescriptions for mental health conditions.
Sure.  The letter is supposed to be from whatever licensed professional is treating you - it could be a GP, a psychiatrist, a nurse practitioner, a psychologist, a licensed social worker, etc.
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There is no ESA certification.

ADA does not cover or mention ESAs

ESAs are mentioned and covered in FHA and ACAA

You will have to get a note from your Dr or mental health professional that you are disabled and require an ESA as part of your treatment plan

You will have to request a reasonable accommodation from your landlord to have an ESA.

http://www.bazelon.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=mHq8GV0FI4c%3D&tabid

http://www.bazelon.org/where-we-stand/community-integration/housing.aspx
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I agree with Suse all the way. Many Drs and therapists don't have a good understanding about SDs to begin with.

One minor thing.... I am thinking you are still a minor living at home. If that is so, parents must approve of their minor child's medical wants and decisions. Even if a Dr. recommends a SD, parents have the right to agree or disagree. They are the ones legally responsible for their kids and all decisions until the kids are of legal age. (usually at 18, but sometimes not until 19)

Confronting parents may not be the most effective method of getting one's way. It involves: good open healthy communication, compromise and accepting and respecting one's parents' decisions.
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Can a General Practitioner diagnose?  We have a shortage of mental health professionals in our area and often people often have been told to go to their GP's for diagnosis, treatment, and prescriptions for mental health conditions.

It was my understanding that any health care professional could write the letter. GP can write prescriptions for the treatment of mental illness and diagnose mental illness, so I'd assume that they could write out a letter suggesting the use of an ESA as an addition to other treatments. I don't think they're necessarily the best option, but I think they are an option.
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Yes. I'm sure any MD who is treating one's Mental Illness can write the note for an ESA or SD. But who is the professional providing the treatment other than meds for the person?

Hmmmmm.... A question. Must a person whose MD considered disabled by MI actually receive therapy services? Would that be optional by each patient unless ordered by the treating MD?

Even meds are strictly at the patient's option. Even if they are considered disabled.
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