Mental Health Awareness for Veterinarians

I recently started seeing friends change their profile photos on Facebook to show a border with the words NOMV (Not One More Vet). This is an organization which began after the death of a world-renowned veterinarian a few years ago. Friends are showing support to help raise awareness for the organization that provides online support for over 20,000 veterinarians. This organization has an educational program, grant program, and peer-to-peer support programs.

Most vets go into the field because they want to help animals. Veterinary medicine can be a stressful and demanding job. They experience emotional strain from the job daily. Each day can bring happiness, anxiety, and grief. They can deal with disease, disability, and death daily in their role. They also may experience financial stressors from paying back their student loans from medical school.

Many vets practice alone, make it an isolating profession. They also tend to work long hours. No one can do everything alone, and as medical professionals it’s important to seek help, especially when it comes to your mental health. If you are someone who works with animals find ways daily to support your mental health. Some ways you can do this include:

– Practicing a positive mindset

– Meditating

– Surrounding yourself with good people

– Taking care of your physical health

– Talking to someone

– Giving yourself a break

– Practicing gratitude

– Practicing forgiveness

Some veterinarian hospitals are taking action to eliminate the stigma by implementing workshops to discuss mental health every year. Not One More Vet has a goal to give support and be a common place to have important conversations for vets. This organization has a Facebook group which brings together a large group of veterinarians who understand each other.

Veterinarians do so much for our pets, so it’s important we give them the support they deserve. It’s important to know that help and resources are available. If you or someone you know may be facing a crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Sources:

https://www.nomv.org/
https://www.npr.org/2019/09/07/757822004/veterinarians-are-killing-themselves-an-online-group-is-there-to-listen-and-help
https://www.nxtgenfp.com/raising-awareness-of-mental-health-for-veterinarians-and-how-to-help/

Jill Haupts, Outreach Coordinator for The Kim Foundation

Jill Haupts is the Outreach Coordinator at The Kim Foundation. She received her bachelor’s degree in Child, Adult, and Family Services from Iowa State University in 2016. Jill joined the Kim Foundation in January of 2020, coming from Des Moines, Iowa. Her previous experience includes volunteer recruitment and fundraising, as well as experience coordinating services and providing resources to adults who have a mental health diagnosis. Jill’s role in the foundation is coordinating event logistics, presenting and attending community fairs, as well as volunteer coordination and recruitment. She enjoys working in the nonprofit field and has a passion for advocacy and helping others.

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