ESAs on college campuses

Roles of emotional support animals examined beyond airlines, colleges and courts struggle

Airlines are not the only organizations grappling with the complexities surrounding emotional support animals. Colleges and courts are also questioning the need for these animals and the effects they may have on students and juries, respectively, according to research presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

The recent, rapid rise of emotional support animals has left colleges and universities struggling to understand the laws and how they can be applied to best support their communities, said Phyllis Erdman, PhD, professor at Washington State University, who chaired a symposium on emotional support animals and service dogs.

College and university counseling centers are seeing an uptick in the number of students seeking mental health services, as students report anxiety, depression and stress about relationships and academic performance, she said.

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