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Student Research Guide: Emotional Support Animals: Home

by Maryann Lindor

Introduction to the Topic

When people find themselves dealing with a mental illness there are many ways to cope with it. There are healthy ways and harmful ways. Alcohol and drug abuse are common harmful ways used to cope with mental illness. Therapy, counseling, diet, exercise, and prescription medication are healthier and more effective coping mechanisms. But now there is a new way to cope with mental illnesses. Those who suffer from anxiety, depression, trauma, and PTSD can cope with their mental health issues and in some cases restore a healthy mental state through the use of emotional support animals. Emotional support animals are able to be companions and comforters during mental health flare-ups. Having an animal forces people with mental health issues to wake up every morning and get out of bed. For people with depression, this is a task that is difficult especially during bad days. Knowing that an animal's life and health are in their hands can be an important tool in learning how to manage mental health issues. 


Keywords for searching the topic


  • ESA
  • Emotional Support Animal
  • Mental Health
  • PTSD
  • Animal Assisted Therapy 
  • Animal Assisted Intervention

Best Databases/Search Engines

DIRECTIONS: Please use this format to list the best databases or search engines that you used. You should include at least 2 SVC databases (eg: Academic Search Complete, Credo Reference, Opposing Viewpoints, etc.) If you use OneSearch, please indicate which database it came from (check the "Get It" part of the OneSearch Record to find this:


Start Your Research Here


Johnson, A. R. (2017). Animal assisted therapy. In J. Fitzpatrick (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Nursing Research (4th ed.). Springer Publishing Company. Credo Reference: 


I chose this article because it shows how all kinds of people can benefit from a human-animal relationship. This source focuses on animal-assisted therapy and how it helps elders in nursing homes. 

 N.A.  (2011, Deember 12).Courtroom Dogs: Should judges allow dogs in the courtroom to comfort traumatized witnesses?  Issues & Controversies. Retrieved from

 This article is about how dogs are being used in the courtroom to calm victims of abuse. This article shows how trained animals are able to help people with PTSD after being abused. 

Von Bergen, C. W. (2015). Emotional support animals, service animals, and pets on campus. Administrative Issues Journal: Education, Practice & Research, 5(1), 15–34.

Emotional support animals on college campuses is a controversial topic but for many students, it would release a lot of stress. It is important that each animal is assessed properly and is certified before it is let into the dorm. 


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