The Not One More Vet program helps people in crises and improves mental health with the help of industry partners like Suveto
The National Suicide Hotline can be reached at (800) 273-8255 or 988.
One is 6 vets consider suicide1 And in a 1995 study of California veterinarians, the suicide rate was 2.6 times the suicide rate in the general population.2 Cyberbullying and the ethical and moral dilemmas and debts associated with education are among the factors affecting the mental health of those working in the veterinary professions, according to the nonprofit organization Not One More Vet (NOMV).3
In 2014, Sophia Yin, DVM, MS, prominent animal behaviorist, trainer, author, and lecturer, passed away.4 It inspired the founding of NOMV. The organization, which focuses on suicide prevention in the veterinary profession, was initially a social media group that quickly grew in engagement.
Carrie Gurney, DVM, DACVIM, President of NOMV, said in an interview with DVM360®. These fellows invited friends, who then invited them Friends, etc., according to Journey.
Since then, the organization has expanded its base, from serving only veterinarians to including veterinary technicians and other professionals in the industry as well as students, Gurney noted. “We now serve nearly 40,000 veterinary professionals worldwide,” she added.
The organization’s influence also reaches supporters such as Suveto, a network of veterinary hospitals that supports practice ownership and career development.
Through the company’s Let’s Move program, individuals have been encouraged to focus on their physical, mental and social health. Participants recorded various activities including those that enhanced their fitness goals, developed hobbies, and tried new things. Each activity recorded with personal donations was allocated a cash amount to raise funds for NOMV. On top of that, “It’s really created a community, which also enhances well-being,” Courtney Post, president of Sofito, told the program.
“The two overlaps between the two companies are communications and the community. It builds more of the community the more we expose NOMV to the profession,” said Tosha Zimmermann, CVT, LVT, Suveto’s Veterinary Support Training and Development Manager.
According to Janel Eichhorn, Suveto’s Vice President of Brand and Marketing, 308 participants in the company’s Let’s Move program logged a set of 7,000 actions for NOMV. Suveto officials recently presented a check to NOMV for $1,805 at the 2022 American Veterinary Medical Association convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Gurney said the funding supports the services provided by NOMV, and the organization is committed to providing free resources to the community of veterinary professionals. “I think the thing most people know us for is peer support. That’s not all we do,” Gurney said.
She said suicide prevention also includes concrete mental health challenges. For example, a person who is struggling financially may be on the verge of losing their home to eviction. “We believe that the problems we face with welfare and suicide in our profession are multifactorial, and so we try to address the problem from as many angles as possible,” Gurney said.
In general, the organization provides assistance to veterinary professionals who are experiencing a mental health and/or financial crisis. Resources include private peer-to-peer Facebook forums; A Lifeboat program with trained volunteers providing educational support and offerings as well as grants to individuals and practices.4
We are very grateful to the organizations [that] Support the work we do,” Gurney added.
- Nett RJ, Witte TK, Holzbauer SM, et al. Risk factors for suicide, attitudes toward mental illness, and practice-related stress among American veterinarians. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2015; 247 (8), 945-955. https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.247.8.945
- Miller JM, Beaumont J. Suicide, cancer, and other causes of death among California veterinarians, 1960-1992. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 1995; 27(1), 37-49. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajim.4700270105
- The veterinary community was stunned by Sophia Yen’s unexpected death. DVM360®. September 30, 2014. Accessed September 9, 2022. https://www.dvm360.com/view/veterinary-community-stunned-sophia-yins-unuable-death
- Not a single vet. Accessed September 9, 2022. https://www.nomv.org/