Mental Health Awareness in the Veterinary Industry: Uniting for Change
The hashtags #NOMV and #NOMVSS may have caught your attention on social media or in the news. While these acronyms might be unfamiliar to some, they carry profound significance within the veterinary industry. In this blog, we delve into the world of NOMV (Not One More Vet), an essential movement aimed at promoting mental health and preventing suicide in the veterinary profession.
Understanding NOMV & Its Origin
NOMV, short for Not One More Vet, is a global online community that emerged to provide crucial support for mental health issues among veterinary professionals.
In 2014, the veterinary community mourned the loss of Dr. Sophia Yin, a respected veterinarian who fell victim to suicide. Dr. Yin’s tragic passing underscored the alarming truth: Veterinarians face one of the highest suicide rates among all professions. Research by the CDC reveals that 1 in 6 veterinarians have contemplated suicide, with female veterinarians being 2.5 times more susceptible and male veterinarians 2.1 times more likely than the general public.
In response to this dire situation, Dr. Nicole McArthur established NOMV as a safe haven on Facebook, a space for veterinary professionals to candidly discuss the ups and downs of their industry. Today, the NOMV Facebook group has grown into a global community of over 27,000 veterinary professionals. Its members find solace in sharing stories, supporting one another, and advocating for mental well-being.
Beyond an Online Community
Not One More Vet has evolved into a robust nonprofit organization that addresses the multifaceted challenges within the veterinary field. From peer-to-peer support groups to educational programs centered around leadership and wellness, NOMV is proactively building resources tailored to the unique demands of veterinary professionals.
A core principle of the movement is “Never Alone,” an affirmation that resonates with those who understand the industry’s unique pressures. NOMV is committed to improving mental health and wellness, with the ultimate aim of reducing suicides among veterinary professionals.
Uniting for Change
At AZPetVet, our commitment to the well-being of our team is unwavering. We prioritize health through community-building activities and wellness initiatives that foster mutual support within our hospitals. We recognize that continuous improvement is essential, and we strive for excellence in all areas because our team is our family.
Our active involvement in NOMV’s annual “Race Around the World” underscores our dedication. This virtual event, held throughout September, unites participants worldwide to collectively cover the Earth’s circumference. The race serves as a fundraiser to strengthen resources for the well-being of veterinary professionals. AZPetVet proudly sponsors a race team, covering entry fees for team members and matching up to $5K in funds raised by our team of racers.
Addressing Mental Health in Veterinary Care
While the discussion of suicide is challenging, it’s crucial to acknowledge that suicide rates have surged nationwide. The CDC reports an upward trend in rates over the past two decades, and the veterinary profession faces a particularly troubling reality, with significantly higher rates compared to the general population.
Several factors contribute to the strain on mental health within the veterinary industry:
- Compassion Fatigue: The dedication to animals and clients can be emotionally draining.
- Work-Life Balance: Round-the-clock demands in a field that never sleeps can lead to burnout.
- Lack of Recognition: Veterinarians’ expertise is sometimes challenged or dismissed, leading to frustration.
- Euthanasia Dilemma: The need to make difficult end-of-life decisions adds emotional weight.
- Financial Stress: Educational debts and the high cost of becoming a veterinarian contribute to stress.
At AZPetVet, we cherish the human-animal bond and the trust our clients place in us. We aim to offer WOW service that reflects our dedication to animals and their caregivers. By supporting initiatives like NOMV, we contribute to a brighter future for veterinary professionals and the pets they care for.
Show your support by donating HERE today.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended to raise awareness about mental health issues in the veterinary industry. It does not replace professional medical advice. Always consult your primary care doctor for any concerns regarding your health. If you or someone you know is in a crisis, call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or chat at 988LifeLine.org.