|Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash|
Pets provide a comforting presence and valuable emotional support for people with a wide range of mental health conditions including PTSD, stress, anxiety, and depression.
Royal Roads University, as part of the student mental health strategy, aims to create a safe learning environment by allowing consideration for Emotional Support Animals (ESA) provided the animal does not interfere with the safety or learning environment of any other person in the classroom.
It is very important to recognize that an ESA is not considered the equivalent to a guide or service dog that is specifically trained and certified to help people with a disability avoid hazards or perform tasks. Therapy and emotional support animals are not eligible for certification. All they need to be is an emotional or psychological support (Government of B.C.).
A student may request consideration to bring their ESA into the classroom through Royal Roads University’s Counselling Services. If the Counsellor supports they request, they will issue a Letter of Consideration to the applicant. This letter would then be presented to the instructor by the applicant for approval.
The conditions for approval by the instructor will include:
· The ESA must be in full control at all times and their well being cared for.
· The ESA cannot interfere with anybody’s comfort or learning in the classroom, including the applicant, classmates, instructor, and guests.
· Everyone in the classroom must be given an opportunity to freely express their concerns directly or by email to the instructor at any time.
· If approval has been given, it may be revoked at any time. The instructor can require the animal to be removed at any time if any of the above conditions are not met (or no longer met).